Not too long ago, I found myself at a fabulous workshop on persuasion, led by a bubbly and voluptuous woman oozing as much sex appeal as she did innocence, sprinkled with a touch of what I can only characterize as a Russian-edged-roughness to her whole being.
She did an incomparable job of commanding the room. She needed no help in holding our attention, aided by no more than a piece of paper and a pencil she had casually picked up off a nearby table. No slides, no handouts, no printed memorabilia pasted carefully and evenly all over the walls; no bright and flashy colors, no fireworks, no supplementary tools whatsoever.
Just us, her, and all her persuasive knowledge.
As a trainer, you want to command the room and have your audience hanging off your every word. This means you’re pretty damn interesting and confirms that you’re kinda worth listening to — that your audience is finding value in what you’re saying. Conversely, sometimes you also want them to get overly worked up and hard to hone in. When you split everyone up into groups and you just can’t regain control of the room, because everyone is too excited about what they’re doing — that’s another win. Technically. But, you do still need to bring them back in for one reason or another. So, how did she do it? By yelling one word:
And it worked. “Because when you yell out something about sex, suddenly everyone’s listening,” I was informed. And I couldn’t really question the proof, as I had watched it happen right before my eyes. So, if you want people to listen to you, talk about something that will perk up their ears when they hear it. Talk about sex. (Side note: What does this say about culture and society these days? What does this say about common interests, taboos, and common points of interest between strangers?)
A few months ago, I went to a dinner in a rather upscale restaurant in the classy district of my home city. I was there with one of my best friends — an incredibly handsome dude with a mix of Spanish and French running through is blood; and another one of my friends, an incredibly gorgeous Romanian girl — tall, slender, blue eyes, perfectly tanned-looking skin, in the dead of winter.
If there’s anything anyone knows about me, it’s that I like having scintillating conversations. I go deep. You want to be sitting near me at a dinner party because you’re guaranteed to be entertained, stimulated, and probably a little bit mindfucked in the process. So, here we are, chatting over our sexual encounters and unconventional points of view over a bottle of red. “Do you have a sex drawer?” “Why can’t the sex toy travel with the guy, and not the girl?” And the like.
Needless to say, anyone within earshot of our conversation had completely shifted their focus over to ours. We became the highlight of the topics of discussion for the (somewhat awkward) date next to us. When it came time to pay and the waitress was striking up conversation with the guy whipping out his credit card, he was too caught up in listening to our conversation to take notice. Even the waitress was like, “Yeah, I know, you’re totally distracted by your neighbor’s scintillating conversation. I am, too. I keep finding reasons to go over there just so I can listen.”
So, that’s us. That’s me. Me and my friends. We are open, we are sexual, we are adventurous, and we are shameless about it. Pay attention to that last keyword, because it’ll be of utmost importance the deeper we get in to this project. This project, this post, this is me, yelling out SEX.
I hope you stick around and listen.