Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Public Speaking - Is Anybody Out There?

The body language and facial expressions of the audience are just as important to you as your own gestures and movement. They can be a good indicator of how the audience is feeling. If they are squirming in their chairs, looking around, yawning, or slouched, it is time for you to stop or do something to gain their interest. Bob Lucas, manager of professional development at the National Office of the American Automobile Association and president of Bob Lucas and Associates, says, "If your participants are painfully looking at their watches then they are not learning."

Watch carefully for signs of boredom and/or general disagreement. If members of the audience have their arms folded across their chests, refuse to make eye contact with you, or if they have cross looks on their faces, chances are you are not connecting.

When you see these signs, you must do something different. Take a break if you have to, but do something. If you simply drone on, matters will only get worse. Always have several of the attention gaining techniques listed in chapter 5 ready to go just in case.

If you are successful in regaining the interest of the audience, you will see a definite change in their body language and facial expression. They will turn toward you and lean forward while giving you good eye contact. You will also see heads nodding when you make your points, and laughter and other responses will be heartier.

I'll pay YOU to read this book!

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