Drawing a crowd is the whole objective behind presenting a position, statement, or platform. Politicians, preachers, and peddlers throughout history have needed to attract a crowd in order for people to hear their messages. And in many cases, the megaphone has been one of the most effective ways to attract a crowd. However, even with a megaphone in hand, what are some other strategies to draw a crowd? Below are three of the most foolproof ways of bringing a crowd to your message:
Strategy One: Crowds Attract Crowds
The late evangelist, teacher and author, R.A. Torrey, once wrote:
“Get as many people to go with you as possible. Crowds draw crowds. There is great power in numbers. One man can go out on the street alone and hold a meeting; I have done it myself; but if I can get fifteen or twenty reliable men to go with me, I will get them every time.”
The famous preacher was correct. Crowds attract people, and using a voice amplification tool like a bullhorn is a great way to attract a crowd. It’s a sociological phenomenon that when people see other people gathering, their curiosity gets the best of them, and they are drawn toward the crowd to see what is happening. People are just curious by nature and want to be in the know.
People also love to be entertained; be a part of the group and involved in a perceived conflict. Another great example to underline the power of this strategy is to think about businesses. If a restaurant is busy, it must be good and need to be tried. How about Barnes and Nobles? Half the people inside these stores aren’t buying a thing, they are just hanging out in comfortable chairs. This is a purposeful marketing strategy to attract a crowd that one day will actually buy something.
Another clever strategy for attracting crowds is to involve what are sometimes called, “rent-a-crowd.” Street preachers have used this trick for years, inviting Christian brethren to help draw crowds and invite others to participate.
Strategy Two: Turn Up the Music
Using live music to draw a crowd has been a trusty go-to strategy for more than 200 years. In fact, the famous street preachers George Whitefield and Charles Wesley were both musical prodigies and used the streets as open air chapels and musical street corner ministries. The Salvation Army picked up where Whitefield and Wesley left off, and “invaded” America with their “Six Hallelujah Lassies” in 1880. And the music doesn’t necessarily need to be professionally polished either. Hymns, ballads, dittys, duets, instrumentals – any kind of music played in the open air is great way to draw crowds.
Strategy Three: Use Trivia Questions to Pique a Crowd’s Interest
What is the largest freshwater lake in the world? Who is the Benedictine monk who invented Champaign? How many furlongs are in a mile?
Catch you by surprise? Having trivia questions thrown at you is not only fun, it’s also a great way to draw a crowd, and keep them coming back. In fact, one of the most influential street preachers in history, Ray Comfort, is credited with being one of the first people to leverage this strategy. He would start every one of corner preaches by asking trivia questions to draw a crowd. He would also give a dollar to each person who answers correctly.
He pointed out that initially people are slow to gather because they are naturally wary of the man using a megaphone, standing on a box and giving away money. But once they realize he is giving away his own money for answers to trivia questions, their love for money takes over and they begin shouting answers. The sound of people shouting, laughing, and clapping is the kind of raucousness that lures curious people to join the crowd.