I recently provided some fundraising coaching to a world-renowned research scientist. When meeting with a prospect he had a habit of ‘presenting’ for 20 minutes before giving the prospect a chance to engage in any way.
It was shutting out the other person. The scientist was skipping right past many connections. On every visit, the prospects were entertained by the scientists’ amazing knowledge, but they were not fully engaged.
To change this, we started to focus on the practice of creating DELIBERATE DIALOGUE.
Deliberate dialogue is the act of intentionally stopping to create dialogue.
For my scientist friend, we had to be even more specific. The coaching was this:
For every two minutes of ‘presenting’, you should STOP and ask a quick question.
We called this the 2:1 RULE using DELIBERATE DIALOGUE.
This is about INTENTIONALITY!!!
Some people do this very effectively:
- I’ve been talking for a few minutes so I want to stop and then see if this is making sense.
- Or simply: Does this make sense?
- Or, you can set it up: I will talk for a few minutes and pause to see if we’re tracking.
It doesn’t have to be scripted. Most of the time the ‘talker’ just needs to stop long enough for the other person to jump in.
If you’re struggling to ENGAGE with someone else, or
If YOU end up doing all the talking,
be DELIBERATE in creating DIALOGUE.
The benefits are numerous:
- If you’ve lost them, then it’s not by much.
- If there is an on-ramp for the other person, it lets them catch it.
- You can listen when the other person is talking.
- When we talk, we become fully engaged. (So let the other person talk.)
- Feedback. Simple.
For the scientist, it was a game-changer. On two of the next visits the prospects were so engaged they asked, “How can I help?”