How long has it been since you were face to face with a large group of soon-to-be new families at a consumer-facing event?
The energy in the space increases as everyone enters, the chatter becomes louder, the laughter and jostling to get around and see all the booths intensify. The rush of people as they come by to ask the question on their giveaway sheet begins. I like to tweak my spiel to answer the prize-sheet question hoping they will ask more questions - to intrigue them.
I spent last weekend at a consumer event—an all-day affair. I had the golden opportunity to speak about babywearing to an attentive audience and to help many people explore baby carriers. I was exhausted, my feet hurt, my voice started to go, but I LOVED IT!!!
The best part of having the opportunity to share about babywearing is how easy it is to arouse someone's curiosity.
One of my challenges is keeping it simple, especially for the people there to gather knowledge or enter into a prize pool. I mentally prepare myself with a simple exercise I will share with you.
- I brainstorm the most common questions new-to-babywearing people ask. 5-8 questions are my max.
- Next, I verbally answer these questions out loud. I let myself verbally wind around and around until I find all the juicy tidbits I can share. However, I know that's not how I will answer in reality.
- Then I imagine I need to leave straight away, meaning I can only say a few words, then I have to run. I think of it as the 'twitter-version.' Sadly, there is no room for intrigue.
- Then the final step is to answer the question in 2-3 sentences. I write it out when I can, which might sound tedious, but it is best. This response should last about 15-20 seconds. Longer than that, and you might lose them.
This exercise forces me to boil down the answers to key questions so that I may answer organically - without OVER answering. Since I spend most of my time teaching professionals who are past this early stage of discovering babywearing, I usually provide more in-depth and varied responses to questions. The consumer audience, though, isn't ready for that much information. If they are - they will keep asking questions.
I will provide an example. Here is the question asked most frequently last week:
"When may I start babywearing? Are there certain carriers that are better?" (Never mind that it is technically two questions.)
- I will not include my long winding answer here…. As it is verbose!
- The 'need to leave' answer - "Day one, and the carrier you like." This leaves a lot to be desired; it's technically accurate but not exciting or curiosity-inducing.
- The 2-3 sentence answer might look like this (it takes me 18 seconds to say this):
- "You can babywear day one, but you will likely start once you're home. Now the carrier's another story - try on several carriers, preferably with someone trained in babywearing, this way you won't buy the wrong carrier for you, plus you will know how to use it when you get home. You want to be comfortable with your carrier so that you may make yourself some breakfast."
There are many ways to answer this question. The more options the more I have to draw on organically as conversations come up. The rapid-fire succession of people asking the same questions over and over gives you time to practice several iterations of your response, and you will find the answers rolling off your tongue with specificity that invites a person to ask more.
I would love to hear your 2-3 sentence response or a technique you use to prepare not to overshare! Hit reply and let me know.