The whole room got a chuckle when one speaker summarized his views about his audiences at a recent presentation. He somewhat tongue-in-cheek explained that he separated his listeners into three general categories:
- One-third could listen to him all day
- One-third thought he was okay, and at least they got a nice lunch out of the deal
- One-third were thinking “Kill me now”
This is a great example of how to use humor to get an audience on your side. Beyond that, there is a real world lesson here for those of us who speak in public. Monitor your audience to determine which category is most dominant among the crowd. And try your mightiest to sway as many as possible into category one by engaging them with such things as great stories, strong visuals, and appropriate nonverbal actions (while, of course, steering them away from the dreaded final group).
Where do you fall on this spectrum? And what techniques work for you?