Honing your ability to lead and inspire others in a bigger way, is more important today than ever before. Because people need leaders – mentors and teachers they can look up and respect, and who have their best interest at heart.
But how exactly to you do that – inspire people? Is there a formula for inspiration? A recipe, perhaps? Well, sort of. There’s a recipe (of sorts) for what I call an inspiration sandwich. It’s a formula for framing your events – both online and offline – so that attendees’ minds are open to inspiration.
Of course, it all starts with knowing exactly what inspiration is.
My favorite definition for the word inspire is: “To fill someone with the urge or ability to do something creative.” Love that! In fact, the word inspire comes from the Latin word inspirare – to breathe. Beautiful, when you reflect on that, isn’t it?
The inspiration sandwich is an approach for opening and closing events (thus the sandwich visual) so that attendees are ready and willing to take in your information in a way that inspires them to absorb it and take action on it. In this article (and video) I’m sharing the first part of the inspiration sandwich – the event opening. In a second article and video I’ll share part 2.
- Acknowledge where they are. Many people today feel distrustful, confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc., therefore their minds are closed to possibilities. One of the best ways to help people relax, and open their minds, is to acknowledge that you understand how they feel and to validate their feelings. Once you’ve done that, the walls of resistance usually tumble right down, and they’re willing to hear what you have to say.
- Be transparent and be yourself. Too many people begin talks, workshops and events by focusing on themselves. That’s an inspiration turn-off! It’s one thing to include a relevant story that helps you to connect to your audience, it’s another thing entirely to share your resume and your oh-so-perfect successes – ugh! If your goal is to open people’s minds to be inspired by your message, just be yourself – and be a little transparent. Admit mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve overcome them. That’s what makes people trust and identify with you – and opens their minds even more.
- Paint a picture of results. People come to you and attend your events so that they can get better at something, solve a problem and/or improve their lives in some way. Be sure to paint a picture of their results when your begin your event. The more you can help people dream about and imagine their possibilities, the more excited they become about their future. That means that they’re not only open-minded about your message, but they eagerly hang on your every word. Now, that’s what inspiration is all about!
Keep in mind that this is just one half of the inspiration sandwich – the beginning or event opening. In part 2 I’ll be sharing the other half of the sandwich – how to close an event that makes your audience want to jump with inspirational joy! Stay tuned …
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