Instead of instructing your audience, try inviting them.

Ok. Here’s what I want you to do… read this article and then try out the lesson.

How does that sound to you?

If you’re like most people, that simple instruction made you feel a little resistant. That’s because as adult human beings (or as kids for that matter) we don’t like to be told what to do.

When giving a speech, one of the mistakes I have made many times, and I’ve seen many others make too is to instruct the audience about what you want them to do.

Common instructing phrases I’ve heard are:

“I’m gonna have you go ahead and….”
“Do me a favor and…”
“I want you to…”
“Here’s what we’re going to do…”

All these are subtle variations on ‘Do what I’m telling you to do.”

Whenever we try to instruct an audience, we cause an inner resistance.

What I’ve learned that works far better is to simply invite your audience to do something with you.

Invitation phrases can be:

“I’d like to offer this to you…”
“Join me in trying…”
“I invite you to try this…”

Any variation of this offers a sense of control and choice to your audience and makes them want to align with your idea.

This is a simple distinction, but I have noticed a huge difference in how people respond when I invite them instead of instructing.

When you instruct someone, they will often resist you.
When you invite them, they will often join you.

Daniel Midson-Short

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