When you stand backstage, preparing to take the mic and do your thing, fear comes easily. Will they like me? Will they laugh or scorn or even walk away? You never know.

This fear comes because we're worried how the audience will make us feel. What will be their opinion of us when we're through? Will they like us or avoid us?

When you look out at the crowd, you have choices. If you focus on their opinion of you, problems arise immediately. For you've chosen to concern yourself with Stuff the Audience cares very little about. The crowd didn't come to help you and your feelings. They're there for themselves. They've come to gain info, or to laugh, or just to make a few new helpful connections and maybe even friends.

If your biggest concern onstage is how the Audience will feel about you, it creates an immediate conflict of interest. Conflict between you and the Audience because you've chosen to focus on something they don't care about much at all. And with very different goals in mind, it's difficult to get them on board.

But if you step onstage, look out at that Audience and ask yourself, "How can I help them feel better about themselves?" And also, "How can I give them value?", you will immediately find yourself rooting for their same goals.

And when you're suddenly fighting for the same goals your Audience holds dear, they notice. They've been waiting for an ally, someone willing to step up and help.

And your willingness to fight for the needs and desires that Audience holds dear will grab their attention, holding them close in a way they'll never forget.