state change flow diagram

Whether you are speaking one to one woth a prospective customer or one to many in the form of a group sales presentation you need to learn how to change their state…

By state I mean the the combination of thinking, emotion and physiology that characterises how we are at any given moment of time.  States are often given labels like fearful, sceptical, curious, excited etc.  Every good presenter and influencer, consciously or unconsciously takes their audience on a journey from a starting state to a desired state. 

So for instance if you know that you audience are initially sceptical about your idea, proposal or product, they won’t buy if they remain sceptical throughout the pitch.   You need to get them to a more resourceful state if they are going to say “Yes!”

If you feel that you need to get them from suspicious to enthusiastic before they will buy, that it quite a big change.   The likelyhood is that you may need to lead them through a number of intermediate statges in order to get to enthusiastic.

For example

  1. Suspicious (starting state)
  2. Curious
  3. Interested
  4. Open
  5. Enthusiastic (desired state)

So far so good but how do you lead them on this journey?  Well there are a number of ways you can change an audiences state.  I’m sure you can think of lots yourself if you set your mind to it but here are a few to get you going.

  • Model the state yourself  (if you want them to be curious at a certain point then you need to look and sound curious too)
  • Get them to remember a time or a situation when they would naturally have been feeling the state you want them to feel now.  (I’m sure you can remember as a child seeing something interesting for the first time and wondering what it was and how it worked) Have I made you curious?
  • Tell a story or give an example where the protagonist in the story demonstrates the state you want your audience to feel now.

Leave a Comment