Change over Cheer
Rich Mulholland dropped several wisdom packed soundbites:
- Your audience must be the hero, not you.
- Don’t trade the change for the cheer.
- Boring is the opposite of memorable.
- It is never about your solution, it is about your audience’s problem.
When positioning his company Missing Link, he realized that in the beginning, they had been selling their presentation consulting firm wrong. People didn’t have a presentation problem, people had a boring presentation problem.
Remember, you’re not trying to tell a story – you are trying to give your audience medicine. Rich offers the example of when you give your dog medicine, you don’t just give it to them straight, you give it to them with peanut butter. Your story is just the peanut butter.
“A presenter’s job is to compel people to do something different. Being compelling is a lot more important than being interesting and a lot more important than being entertained. Although, you have to be all of those.”
It’s Not About You
Rich loves attending conferences, but as of late, many have been structured where the speakers are being interviewed or sitting on a panel discussion instead of giving a talk. This is a problem.
“The answers you get are limited to the questions prepared by the podcast interviewer, as opposed to what the person would like to say if they were given a platform such as yours. The challenge we need to do is to force more preparation to the guest on what they’re hoping to deliver on the show.”
He says it is important for podcasters to remember that the podcast is not about them or their interviewee – it is about what you can make the audience do differently after they listen. Rich says listening to Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferris’s interviews with Seth Godin back to back will illustrate how an interviewer can make the mistake of listening to respond, instead of listening to learn.
Guy Roz of How I Built This as another positive interview example because he is so curious.
Rich believes in the power of podcasting as a marketing tool. His company Missing Link created a podcast that is basically like an audiobook on their principles because they realized that by sharing each of those principles with a wider audience, it could lead to somebody buying something from them.
Personally, Rich finds value in podcasts because he can decide what he is learning.
“What I like so much about podcasts and why I listen to them so much, is I can curate the usage of my own downtime. My downtime is my most fertile time to learn.”
Next time you give a talk, Rich challenges you to try following the 4 step process:
- Give your audience a reason to care
- Give your audience a reason to believe
- Tell them what they need to know
- Tell them what they need to do.
Rich advises podcast creators is to make sure that the burden of preparation does not fall on you alone. If you can get your interviewee invested in the output coming in, you’ll get far better material from them going out.