“We’re living in primate heaven. We’re warm, dry, we’re not hungry, we don’t have fleas and ticks and infections. So why are we so miserable?”
— Steven Pinker
I think one of the most common mistakes an Authority or Thought Leader can make is to overestimate the mood and general condition of their audience. They tend to not like to think of their followers as confused, depressed, insecure, or unconfident. But we can all feel one or more of those ways at one point in time or another.
Do you know what your audience needs even more than your expertise? Your reassurance, confidence, and certainty. They need to feel better, or their self-esteem issues will block them from probably learning from you and almost certainly from taking action based on what you tell them will work for them.
Remember, we call it “thought leadership” for a reason. People need to be led. We don’t call it “thought communicator” or “information teller.” So keep your audience’s needs in mind, not just by being nice, but by giving them what they need. Make sure they feel your confidence in them, reassure them that your methods will work for them.