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Section 22
Four Ways to Increase your Connective Impact

Table of Contents | NCCAP/NCTRC CE Booklet

1. How to get a high listen-ability rating!
By all means, when you tell stories involving others, use their names, or if you want to protect their identity, as in the case of your residents, use fictitious names or as I often do in my Seminars I use the name of an audience member as if he or she were the resident.  Even impersonal names like “Mr. Smith” or “Joe”  are better than using no name at all.  Then state, “We have a resident on A wing.  I will call him Joe.”  This is far more descriptive than “this man” or “a person or resident on A wing.”  The use of a name identifies and individualizes the "character" in the story you are telling.  I feel few things add more realism to a story than names, and nothing is as unrealistic as anonymity.  Imagine a story whose hero has no name.  See my point?

If your Volunteer Recruitment Talk is full of names and personal pronouns, like he or she, you can be sure you are creating a talk with a high Listen-ability Rating.  You will have added the priceless ingredient of human interest into your talk. 

Another way to open the lines of communication is to use the names of people in the audience, as mentioned earlier.  How do you get their names?  If they are not wearing name tags, as often is the case, arrive at the meeting, early, circulate, and memorize two or three names.  Then weave these names into your talk.  If your experience is like mine you probably will see the evident pleasure on the faces of the people whose names you use and even sense a warm friendliness from your entire audience that this simple technique of using audience members’ names wins for you.

If you are nervous and have problems remembering names you might write them down just before you start along with a brief description like, "Nancy, long hair; Vera, glasses; etc."  Or if your memory is operating well that day you might mentally make this association when you are introduced to them or ask, “What is your name, mine is....”

Below write a strategy for acquiring names before your talk.  I have given you one below now you write your own.

Arrive 20 minutes before the meeting starts to circulate and introduce yourself individually to the your audience members.




One word of caution:  If you are going to work names into you talk,
1. Be sure your know exactly how they are pronounced
2. Be sure you understand fully the reason you are using the names.  For example, I am using the name of an audience member in place of Hazel’s name in my story in order to make an additional connection with my audience to better hold their interest.
3. Be sure you mention them only in a favorable way
4. Use names of your audience in moderation.

2. How to insert your listener into the picture
Names are not your thing?  An addition to using audience members names, another method for keeping the audience at peak attentiveness is to use the pronoun “you” rather than the third-person “they.”  In this way you keep the audience in a state of self-awareness, which I have pointed out earlier cannot be over looked.  If you are to hold the interest of your listeners here are three examples.
"If you have Tuesdays at 2:00 free, that is when we have our Sing-a-Long." 
"Can you see how this works with Helen…" 
"What do you think about…" 

By skillfully using “you” and inserting your listeners into the picture at your facility, you are able to keep attention alive and glowing.  If you want to connect with your listeners, don’t talk so much about yourself.  Find ways to address others’ needs.  Remember at the beginning of this Manual I spoke about developing an Audience-Centered Talk not a Self-Centered Talk. Tell yourself you are going to inject the word “you” into your talk in several places.  Then, get busy with your pencil or computer, adding little “hooks” like…
You know from your own experience that __________.” 
You are certainly welcome to __________.” 
“Now what does that mean to you?”
 “Have you ever asked yourself that question?”
 “Does that sound interesting to you?”
 “You may be saying, this doesn’t mean a darn thing to me.”
 “Do you ever feel that way?”
 “What do you say?”
 “Can you help me on this?”

With the above examples, choose the ones that you feel fit best into your talk or create your own.  Now you are on the way to working to increase a connective impact into your Volunteer Recruitment Talk.  In the process of putting in the “you’s,” you have obligated yourself to explain your subject in terms that your audience is going to find much more involving.

3. The dangers of “you”
There are times, however, when the pronoun “you” is dangerous, when it may establish a break between you and your audience creating a gap rather than a bridge.  This gap occurs when it might be perceived as though you are talking down to your listener.  It also occurs when your listeners feel like you are lecturing them as in... "You ought to or should..."  Then it is better to use “we.”  For example, "We are all lazy to a certain extent, I know I am."  Not, "You are lazy."

4. Ask for a show of hands
Answering a question by raising their hands, as mentioned earlier is another way to increase your connectivity impact.  Write a question below you might ask your listeners.  Your question might start, for example, with something like I did in my sample introduction, "Let's see a show of hands.  How many of you know where the XYZ Convalescent Center is located? “
1.  Stay in control of your questions.  However, if you ask, "How many of you have been inside the facility?" you are getting off track and may open up topics regarding question like, "I noticed… Why do they… there?" 
2.Make your question easy and non-embarrassing.  For example, don't ask for a show of hands regarding, "How many of you have done volunteer work?”

Write a couple of your own questions you might weave into you Volunteer Recruitment Talk.

How many of you know there the XYZ Convalescent Center? 



In summary by: 1. using your listeners names; 2. using the word "you"; 3. asking for a show of hands…you stop thinking of your Volunteer Recruitment Talk as a recitation and start to think of it as being designed to get audience reaction and to make the audience a partner in the presentation with increased connectivity.

5. Be an equal
Be an equal to your audience, not above and not below.  If you say you “have doubts and feel inadequately prepared” as mentioned earlier that is the “kiss of death” for anything you say that follows.  They will think, or at least I would, as I mentioned before think “Why didn’t you care enough about my time in the meeting to prepare?  Clearly you do not think much of me or my organization.”  Your listeners don’t know nor do they care about your sick child or Care Plan Conference or what other excuse you have for not being prepared.

On the other hand don’t get a “big head” and act via your verbal and non-verbal language as if they are lucky you took some of your precious time away from your facility to grace them with your presence.  In short don't give the impression, “I am so, so, so, busy and aren’t you so, so lucky I am here.”  In short be and equal to them not below and not above.  Get my point?

6. Connect at the Close
Don't just say, "This has been a delightful, meaningful meeting,” if it has been pretty blah, or if delightful is a word you never use.  What words do you use when an encounter has been a positive one for you… fun, great, fine, happy, interesting, and informative?  Once you say how you felt about the meeting, if it is your style, tell why.  For example state, “This has been a delightful and meaningful evening for me in many ways.  First I have my own minister… here.  By his words, deeds, and leadership he has been an inspiration to me personally.   Secondly to sit between…."

Complete the sentence below.
This has been a_______________________________________________________ Meeting for me. (Then give one or two reasons way it may have been that way for you
First, _____________________________________________________________________________________________


Forward to Section 23
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