Did you ever watch a speaker and grow to trust them as a result of the bits of information they subtly shared? If so, you probably saw ‘seeding’ in action. As a professional singer as well as a speaking coach, I like to use examples from the world of pop music, so bear with me while I explain seeding in more detail.
‘Plant your seeds’ refers to the process of ‘seeding’. This is a subtle way of feeding the audience snippets of information that enhance your credibility, or otherwise help you to achieve your overall goal.
Let’s say you go to see an up and coming artist who doesn’t yet have a contract with a major label. During the show, they might say “Wow guys, it’s been a busy day today. Earlier on I was in the offices of Universal with my manager, talking about a few things with their A&R department.”
By mentioning having a manager, being at Universal and talking to the A&R team, that artist is implying that they’re more than one of the many unsigned. It might plant the seed in your mind that they are going places and that you’re lucky to be at that intimate gig because next year they might well be playing arenas. You’re thinking you should probably buy one of their signed CDs or T-shirts because it might be worth a lot of money one day.
In the same way, you can seed information throughout your talk. Perhaps you might want to drop in a client success story. Or a glowing testimonial. This information will help increase your credibility.
If you’re selling a product during your talk, you might like to mention, casually, that you’ve only got four left, because they’re so popular. Drop in that you’re in conversation with a large company that wants to distribute the product because it’s so effective.
You can seed in a big and obvious way, or you can do it subtly. It depends on your style and what you’re hoping to achieve. Either way, plant those seeds throughout your talk. They will help to strengthen your position with the audience. In turn, it will help them to trust you, and to relax, knowing they are in the right place with the right speaker!