If you want to have influence at any level, you need to learn how to get your ideas and expertise noticed. Too many people today have brilliant insight, but they don’t know the keys to getting anyone to listen. It’s a cluttered world out there, so if you’re going to get heard, here’s 5 key principles to remember:
1. Know where you stand. To influence anyone, you have to know your perspective on the issue and not be afraid to share it. Have an opinion. Make decisions. This isn’t the time to be bashful. Don’t be a jerk, but don’t be afraid to speak up.
2. Create something of value. Have you ever noticed that folks listen to people who have something to offer? To sell your screenplay you have to have a few on the shelf. To get interviewed in the media, it helps to have a book to discuss, or a project completed. Influencers have something to show. Don’t wait for a publisher, movie studio, or agent. Start creating now.
3. Know your “One Big Thing.” If you don’t, then read my book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do.” Nobody listens to people who are pretty good at a lot of things. They listen to people who are extraordinary at one big thing. What’s yours? Figure it out.
4. Always bring people back to you. When I give a presentation, my website is on the handouts and PowerPoint screens. I give out my books as gifts. I remind people about my Twitter and Facebook links. Always drive people back to where they can find more about you and your organization.
5. Lastly, what’s your hook? In other words, why would I want to interview you? What’s in it for me? What’s your unique perspective that separates you from the pack? If you’re the same as everyone else, then I’m not interested. I have too many other choices.
It’s not about self-promotion and ego, it’s about fulfilling your dream. Today, it’s not just the best message that gets heard, it’s the person who knows how to cut through the clutter of this culture’s distractions to get noticed. Be the absolute best you can be, but never forget to spend time learning how to rise above the noise to get your message heard.
Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at www.philcooke.com.