Presentation skills: Want your audience warm to you?
Of course you do! When an audience likes and respects a speaker, they will not only be more engaged but the believability of the presentation as well as the speaker’s chances of persuading the audience to agree with their message increase massively.
This blog was written by Bookboon author Michael Brown.
Engage any audience
It’s actually quite simple. If you want your audience to like you, you have to like them. Making an audience feel they are part of the presentation is a great way to receive a warm response.
Some of the warmest people step in front of an audience to make a presentation, freeze, and present as if they came directly from the undertaker. Even the most confident person can let self-consciousness get in the way of a great presentation which masks their normal likability. If you appear nervous or underconfident, your audience might feel sorry for you, but they will be unlikely to warm to you. The challenge is to allow your normal liking and respect for others to show through in spite of self-consciousness.
Here’s a solution that works well for many trainees.
Practice showing warmth
Seriously. Get in front of the bathroom mirror and imagine bumping into a friend you haven’t seen for a while. A friend you like and respect. Look at the subtle changes happening in your face muscles – especially around your eyes. Don’t allow a big smile. Stay with the subtle changes. Next time you meet a real person you like and respect, be aware of those physical changes and use them for your next presentation. The more you practice, the more naturally those subtle, warm expressions will come through in your presentation.
It’s for very nervous people. When you make your body to show your normal liking for your audience, your mind will allow you to feel more confident. Do you see the fascinating implications? Your mind can instruct your body to do things that instruct your mind.