Make the Reward Worth It

Whether it’s based on altruism or ego, people like to make a difference with their lives. That difference could be something as modest as “make this a great place to work” or as lofty as “save lives in Ethiopia.”

No matter how engaging your presentation may be, no audience will act unless you describe a reward that makes it worthwhile. You must clearly articulate the ultimate gain for the audience, its extended sphere of influence, or perhaps even all of humanity. If your call to action is asking them to sacrifice their time, money, or ideals, you must be very clear about what the payoff will be.

Rewards should appeal to physical, relational, or self-fulfillment needs:

Basic needs: The human body has basic needs like food, water, shelter, and rest. When any of those are threatened, people will risk life and limb to secure them—even for someone else. People don’t like to see others’ basic needs go unmet, and this prompts generosity.

Security: People want to feel secure and safe at home, at work, and at play. Physical, financial, or even technological security assures them that they are safe.

Savings: Time and money are two precious commodities. Your presentation’s reward might be to save the audience time or create a generous return on their investment.

Prize: This can be anything from a personal financial reward to gaining market share. It is the privilege of taking possession of something.

Recognition: People relish being honored for their individual or collective efforts. Being seen in a new light, receiving a promotion, or gaining admission into something exclusive are all credits that can work.

Relationship: People will endure a lot for the promise of community with a group of folks who make a difference. A reward can be as simple as a victory celebration with those they love.

Destiny: Guiding the audience toward a life-long dream fulfills the need for being valued. Offer the audience a chance to live up to their full potential.

In light of these categories, ask yourself: what is it that the audience gets in exchange for changing? What is in it for them? What do they gain by adopting your perspective or buying your product? What value does it bring to them?

The reward for your audience should be proportional to the sacrifice they have made.

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