The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) knows how to put on a show.
When they host events outside of the U.S., they go out of their way to pack the fight card with fighters from the home country.
A perfect example was the fight card held over the weekend in Ontario, Canada. One of the fighters from the main event was from, you guessed it, Canada.
In fact, from the event (Fight Night 89), out of the 13 fights on the card, 10 featured a fighter that was either born in Canada or that currently lives/trains in Canada, and thus accepted as a Canadian. What's that all aboot? [I hear Canadians don't really say that which would be a damn shame if true.]
The fight cards held in European countries are also heavily stacked with fighters from all throughout Europe.
Australia...same thing. Brazil...Yep. China...you’re catching on.
Why is that? And what does this have to do with public speaking? Hold your horses! We're gettin' there.
Simply put, the UFC wants to entertain the home crowd. This includes the people that actually bought tickets to attend the event, yes, but it also includes those people from the host country that will hopefully watch it on TV.
The home crowd feels like the event was made just for them, and for the most part it was.
A marketing ploy? Certainly. The UFC wants to gain fans and extend its international reach—makes sense for a business. But it also makes sense for you as a speaker. Don't you want to win over your audience? Maybe even entertain them?
Here are 3 lessons you can learn from the UFC and how they can help your presentations:
1. It teaches you to PLAN accordingly
The UFC sets the event in advance, but they don’t have all of the fights figured out just yet. They have to do research.
I’m no genius but I’d guess that the first criteria would be figuring out which fighters employed by the UFC are from the host country.
It doesn’t stop there of course. They also want to make the best possible fights for the sake entertainment. No offense Canada or any other country for that matter, but no country has the monopoly on talent. Anyway, we’re getting off track. The point is, the UFC does its homework.
So should you.
- Who will be in your audience?
- Why will they be there?
- Is there one thing that they all have in common that you can talk about?
- Are they locals or flying in from different cities?
- And many more...
The audience will be like “Hey, this guy is one of us! He knew about Billy-Bob’s pet squirrel that guards the city hall building!” Little do they know you were scouring through the local newspaper from a few weeks back. Suckers!
That’s just an example, but that’s how it would work. Just ask Billy-Bob.
2. One of a kind
It will feel like it’s their event instead of a template speech you’ve done many times before. I see musicians and comedians do the same thing.
They’ll be performing live and suddenly some of their lyrics or jokes change! And it’s usually that somehow the name of the city they’re performing in gets thrown into the song or act. What a strange coincidence...
Performers know the game. What’s funny is I’m sure most of the audience knows the game, too, yet they still love it.
You should also know the game.
3. Get them on your side
For the most part we like people that are like us. People that like the same music we do, have the same hobbies, believe the same conspiracy theories, etc...
Imagine you’re stranded in a foreign country where nobody speaks a lick of English. Then, out of nowhere you see someone who looks like a fellow countryman. Even if you’d never in a million years associate yourself with this person back home, you happily embrace them with open arms in this situation.
That’s because you share a common bond. You’re “like” them.
Initially, that’s how the audience will see you—a foreigner that doesn’t know their language. That is, until you show them otherwise.
If you take the time to make it for them, the audience will notice.
They’ll appreciate it, and because of that, they will at the very least not spread bad things about you. That’s a win in my book.
It'sssssss TIMEEEEEE...for the conclusion:
A speaker's job is not just to blab for the sake of blabbing. And even if one has a good message, it could still be ignored simply because the audience didn't like the speaker.
There are ways you can get the audience to like you and you don't have to be Mr. or Mrs. Charisma to do it. All it takes is you putting in the time to get to know a little bit about your audience so you can tailor your message to them.
You may not like fighting as a sport, you may not like UFC, either.
However, if you care about giving the audience a great experience, you'll follow the UFC's lead and put the audience at the top of your priority list.
Share this post to help improve audience/speaker relationships!
About this guy...
Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life. In less than a year since, I’ve started this website, Tactical Talks, competed and won 3 separate public speaking contests, wrote a book, and spoke at one of the top universities in southern California (SDSU).
And look, I’m not telling you this to “show off.” My purpose is to show you that it’s possible to start doing the things that YOU want to do. And that’s my goal. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.