Although I was aware of the principle because of my experience in adult education and training, when I started speaking at conferences and events, I remember one of my mentors Winston Marsh (www.winstonmarsh.com.au) always reinforcing WIIFM to anyone he spoke to. 

WIIFM is an acronym for what’s in it for me?  It refers to fact that people are more likely to pay attention to what you are sharing or teaching them if they recognise what’s in it for me (meaning what’s in it for the audience).

When I start preparing to customise a conference speech, or in-house training program, the first question I ask myself is WIIFM.  What is in it for my audience?  Why would they want to listen to me? 

WIIFM is a principle that should be applied to any communication where you are requiring the receiver to take action.  When people recognise that what you are sharing, selling, showing or educating them in is going to make their work or life better they are more open to listening.

Whilst it might seem like common sense, it’s not always common practice.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *