How to Dialogue with Large Groups

by Michael Oliver

Recently, I was the guest trainer/speaker for a Distributor and her team. The following is an expanded version of my answer to a question that came up during this session.


'When we're talking with groups, and we have a lot of people there... how do you do all this?'

This is a matter of making people feel comfortable, by using rhetorical and generic questions that you know from experience appeal to a wide audience.

Here are a few pointers on how I would start a meeting to immediately attract and hold the attention of the majority of the audience. The key is to focus on what their general concerns might be and how what you're doing can possibly help them if they are looking to change.

Remember, one of the many reasons you ask questions is that questions involve people. Asking questions is also one of the most powerful ways to allow another person to learn without telling them.

1. Indirectly Acknowledge Your Guests

The first thing I recommend you do is to acknowledge the Distributor's who have invited guests. In doing so you will indirectly acknowledge the guests without the possible discomfort of having to expose themselves. At the beginning, after the formalities and introduction I would ask...

"To have an idea how many Distributors have guests here today, could I ask those Distributor's to raise your hands please?"

As they raise their hands you say, "Thank you!" No more than that. Refrain from saying things like, "Oh that's great! You're wonderful. Your guests are going to get something wonderful thing out of tonight..." and so on, because that's only your opinion. Your opinion more often than not will get you into a lot of trouble! Just acknowledge the hosts and say, "Thank you!" Simplicity is powerful.

2. State the Purpose of the Meeting.

I would then give a brief overview of why you're all there. The intention here is to set the stage, and in a generic way basing everything on, 'What is in it for them!'

For example;

"For the benefit of the guests, allow me to start off saying that this is a meeting we have once a week, where we get together to learn and to share ideas...and it's also a chance for you... to get to know us, look at our products, our company, find out why we do what we do and whether any of this can help you and what you're looking for."

"So, before I start talking about who WE are and what we do, perhaps I can personalize this a little by asking you a few questions."

When you ask the following questions, raise one of your arms and don't worry if no one raises theirs... Think of yourself as a farmer, and that your questions are like planting seeds. You don't always see the results of a newly planted seed. It takes time to germinate. Do you see where I'm going with this? I'm focusing on setting the stage about exploring how your Business Opportunity can help those who want to make an adjustment to their lifestyle by becoming independent business owners.

"How many of you have found that in your life, especially in your working life for those of you who work, you tend to get frustrated about work or even going to work... with things like lack of acknowledgement or recognition for what you do; feeling stuck where you are, not earning what you think you're worth...? How many of you would like to do something else if you could... something that is meaningful to you?"

Now, let's say you're selling health products. You could continue by asking...

"... and how many of you in this stage in your life are beginning to be concerned about or questioning the state of your own health and the health of your family, because of what is happening in our increasingly polluted environment, both in the air and the soil? For example... how the lack of nutrition in the food we eat since the introduction of chemical fertilizers has been found to be a major cause of all the modern day diseases such as cancer. Here's another one, how the chemicals in many of the skin products we use are full of carcinogens that are known to cause cancer. How many of you are thinking in terms of taking care of your health if you're not already doing so?"

"Well that's part of what you're going to talk about this evening. If any of this rings a bell for you, we're here to talk about how you can explore helping yourself to achieve what it is you are looking for, both in your lifestyle and/or your health... by looking at, as an example, how you can create your own environmentally sound home-based business... to allow you to get the things you're looking for. We're here to talk about that and answer any questions that you might have...?"

3. Focus on Needs

If you agree with me that the purpose of a business is to help other people solve their problems with solutions that will allow them to move forward in their lives, then continue the above process by relating the elements of what you discover through asking questions with your possible solutions. Relate how some of the features of your business opportunity or products address some of the initial needs or problems you introduced during your introduction.

Obviously there is more to this process...though in the meantime this should give you a good feel as to how to begin.

Michael Oliver is an Internationally recognized trainer, speaker and author of the best selling book, "How to Sell Network Marketing Without Fear, Anxiety or Losing Your Friends!", and the founder of Natural Selling(R) Sales Training. His books can be found at You can find out more about Michael, his book, CD's and trainings by going to

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