Influencers from Around the World – Influence Yourself

This month’s Influencers from Around the World post comes from Yago de Marta. Yago has been a guest blogger at Influence PEOPLE for several years now. He’s from Spain but now spends the majority of his time in Latin America working with clients to help them speak more fluently and persuasively. To find out more about Yago visit or connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. 

Brian, CMCT® 
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.

Influence Yourself

A lot of people ask themselves what they can or can’t do with influence techniques. I tell them that there are no set limits and that they can explore them in each sale or speech.
There will always be someone who will tell you what you can’t do. He will have his arguments but it doesn’t mean he has the reason. This article addresses this.
A year ago I was invited to give a speech in a very big auditorium in a city with about 1.5 million people in Latin America.  I have been in that country thousands of times but “each audience is different” and this city was “special.” When I entered in the auditorium I realized that it was too big and thought it would be difficult to fill the seats because the event hadn’t been publicized very much.
As people arrived they started taking places in the high part of the auditorium first. I was talking with the organizers (the mayor of the city and his team) and they were telling me that the people in their city were complicated and recommended I not make efforts to have them come closer. Apparently people in this city were not easy, a “tough crowd” you might say.
When almost everybody was in the hall, I was told to start my presentation and I realized that most of the people occupied the seats farthest from me. The mayor was about to introduce me to the audience and I asked him to ask people to get closer to the stage, so they’d be closer to me.
Then one of the strangest moments of my career happened. The mayor and his staff told me it was impossible to do this. He told me that he has been the mayor of this city for 20 years and that the people was too lazy to “move their asses” closer to hear me!
As you know, as you have heard and probably read a hundred times, you have to know your audience, your client. In this case, it was clear that the one that knew the audience was the mayor, not me. But, could it be limiting for my presentation?
I said to him, “Okay, no problem.  If there is no way to move them, I’ll solve it.”
The mayor introduced me, and gave me the microphone. I addressed the audience, “Good evening, it’s a great pleasure to be with all of you here today and I have something to confess to you; some minutes ago I asked your mayor if he could ask you to come closer to the stage to the front rows and fill the closest part of the auditorium. He answered me that it was impossible, that the people of this city are not likely to do that. Please, can you show him that he is mistaken?”
Suddenly, people all over the auditorium stood up and changed their seats to be closer to the stage.
That’s normal. When books talk about knowing the audience, they talk about knowing their ages, jobs, gender, but there is something easier and more powerful: you can know their motivations. You know their essence.
Maybe the mayor knew each person of his city, maybe he knew their names. But I knew why they were there.
It’s more important to believe in yourself than to believe in your audience. It’s more important to influence yourself than influence people.
You are learning and using many influence techniques and that’s what helps you accomplish whatever you want. But there is only one thing that you always have to remember – to know what people “really” want.
Yago de Marta
Speech & Media Training
Méx. +52 1 (55) 59810879
Esp. +34 655 361 555
BBpin: 2A24B191
Skype: yagodemarta
2 replies
  1. Anthony McLean
    Anthony McLean says:

    Said by a true Influencer. Yago, sadly your experience is not an isolated one. We see it in Change Management, sales, professional services and so on. People think collecting data and filling out a planning sheet is knowing their audience. The true value comes in understanding the person, but as you rightly point out this can only come after you know yourself; your passions and why you are doing what you are doing. You authentically engaged the audience and they reciprocated with engaging more with you. I bet the "tough crowd" weren't so tough after that because you went first and allowed yourself to engage with them not just accept "that is the way it is around here". Great article.


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