If you're an NASM-CPT, fitness instructor, or other health professionals, you know that one of our biggest challenges is getting prospective and current clients to listen to what we have to say.
No matter how educated or passionate we are, if we don't speak in a way that captivates their attention and makes them want to engage in active change, our words will have little impact, and our training won't be as effective.
Even in a world where everyone is short on time and wants information quickly, there are ways we can get our clients to listen.
That’s why I want to share with you five ways you can get your clients to listen to you:
- One of the best ways to get people to listen to us is to be a good listener. It may seem counterintuitive, but being a good listener is one of the best ways to get people to listen to what we have to say. When we listen to another person, we build their trust. We show them that we care, and we want to learn about them, which encourages them to do the same. The idea is that we want healthy conversations where two people are talking to each other, not at each other, and that requires that they both listen.
- Brevity is Key. If we want people to listen, it's better to say less with more impact… to be intentional. The goal is to get our message across using powerful, compelling words that convey a strong message. In terms of coaching and cueing, this is critical. Getting information to our clients in short palatable pieces and using words that create images in their minds makes all the difference. Overtalking will only confuse them.
- Cadence is worth considering. You know how some people immediately capture the room when they speak, and they continue to hold everyone's attention? Cadence has a lot to do with that. They know how to slow down or speed up accordingly, adjust their tone, and pause for effect when needed. They're good storytellers. You can do a few things to work on your cadence to watch people's reactions as you speak. You can also videotape or record yourself, then listen and adjust accordingly. Or ask someone who is an excellent speaker to evaluate and give you feedback.
- Hear what’s not being said- Again, people send signals and show us whether interested in what we have to say. Monitor the listener’s body language and determine what signals they’re sending. If their expression is blank, bored, or confused, take action. Stop talking… take a pause, then pose a question to engage them and bring them into the conversation. It may be that you're talking above them, or you're talking too fast. By asking a question, you'll get a feel for how you need to adjust.
- Monitor Your Body Language- The words that we speak should be congruent with the message our body is conveying. Are we speaking to our client but looking around the gym? Are we standing in an open, inviting way that shows we're present? Are we making eye contact? What about our facial expressions and gestures? Our body, not just our words, sends messages about trust, authenticity, confidence.
Getting someone's attention is the easy part. Holding it is a completely different thing. If you follow these five steps, you should be able to get your clients to connect with what you have to say and impact how they perform during their workouts. So why wait? Embrace these new methods and start changing lives even faster.