The Waltz Principle
Have you ever seen someone “lose” an audience? Have you ever lost one? Why did you “lose” the audience…? You probably did not “get” them at the beginning! Remember to “start with a ONE.”
Even if you are not a dancer, you know what a waltz is. And you likely know that you count the steps: one, two, three,..one two three…etc. I recommend that you apply the waltz principle to all your communications. The model is this: the most important idea is the ONE, the next important idea is the TWO, and the idea after that is the THREE.
The ONE will come first. Assign your ideas in order of importance. The model will be a newspaper headline. The purpose of a newsletter headline is to tell the reader, “Stop what you’re doing or thinking and read this!” The same principle applies when we are talking. The brain processes best what comes first. Then our attention begins to slow down and very shortly can turn off completely! Think about your own attention span. I seriously doubt that it is getting longer!
So work hard on your opening words - the ONE! It may be a startling statement…a memorable fact… an important challenge. When you arrive at the platform or the podium or the conference table, start with “pleasantries”. e.g. “Mary, thanks for inviting me.” “I always enjoy being in Arizona in the winter.” “ I am honored to be a part of such a significant occasion.” Then…Pause…and deliver the ONE.
Pause again and then deliver the TWO. The TWO will be your table of contents, what you will cover…and then move to the body of your message - the THREE. This principle will be effective in speeches, presentations, meetings, interviews…virtually any communication.
So, study your audience, gather your material, and then move to The Waltz Principle - One, Two, Three!