Connecting deeply with audiences

The art of communicating and building trust

How do performers connect with their audience to build trust? And how is risk used to create an advantage? Jeff Raz, Stand & Deliver senior director, Clown Conservatory founder, author, and resilient performer shares unconventional wisdom about performing—and its remarkable similarities to risk management.

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Connecting deeply with audiences

In this episode of Resilient, Jeff Raz talks about the inherent resiliency performers must develop to excel at their craft. He shares advice for executives on the art of communicating, presenting confidently, and building trust. Jeff also discusses insightful parallels between risk executives and performers—from taking calculated risks to learning from mistakes.

J Raz performing

Spotters, flyers, and risk executives

In order to grow as a performer, you have to take risks. Not blindly, but with confidence. Looking at the risk executives’ role through the same lens can be a strategic tactic to help grow their companies.

Jeff compares risk management to the risk-taking in acrobatics. A spotter, the person on the ground, helps the flyer, the one performing the high-wire act, elevate the performance by taking calculated risks.

The spotter is there is so the flyer can go higher. You wouldn't have a spotter for tricks you already know. You bring the spotter in when you're trying to do something new, higher, wilder, or longer.

Testing bias and foreseeing risks

Many times, risks manifest because of bias or beliefs that are reinforced by an individual’s or group’s own worldview. Only by testing those biases can risks be fully rooted out. In the theater, bias can potentially create unforeseen risks as well.

As a performer, you want to get out there in front of an audience a lot. It’s how we mitigate bias of overconfidence or bias that my sense of humor is everyone's sense of humor.

Making a friend out of your mistakes

A high-stakes presentation derailed by a technology glitch is a surprisingly great way to reset and reconnect with your audience. Tuning out the negatives and seeing the opportunity can help us all captivate our audience.

If you experience a mistake, it’s ok. Mistakes are the little rip that allows you to connect with your audience.

Read more about Jeff Raz and his published works at The Secret Life of Clowns

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Resilient is an award-winning podcast series that features authentic, engaging, and thought-provoking conversations with leaders. Hear interviews and personal stories about how CEOs, senior executives, government officials, board members, and people outside of the business world embrace complexity to lead, navigate, and disrupt to accelerate performance. And discover what they learned about resilience amid risk, crisis, and disruption.

For more in the series, visit the Resilient podcast library page.

This podcast is part of an ongoing series of interviews with senior-level executives. Mr. Raz’s participation in this podcast is solely for educational purposes based on his knowledge of the subject, and the views expressed by him are solely his own. This transcript should not be deemed or construed to be for the purpose of soliciting business for Stand & Deliver, Cirque du Soleil, or other companies or individuals named herein, nor does Deloitte advocate or endorse the services or products provided by said companies or individuals.

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