continued from part 3
There are thousands (maybe millions) of tips on the web for improving your public speaking skills. Some are absolutely garbage, like:
“Don’t really look at people. Just find a spot in the back of the room and focus on that.”
Huh?!Follow that tip and you are practically guaranteed to have a horrible connection with your audience. (It might work if there are a few thousand people in the audience because you can’t really see them anyway, but I doubt it.)
I’ve seen literally hundreds of people try this and sooner or later someone in the audience turns around to find out what’s so interesting in the back of the room. People are not stupid. They can tell if you’re looking at them or not. Just like you know a fake smile from a real one.
And no…”look between their eyes” doesn’t really work either. For some reason it erodes rapport.
What do exceptional speakers do?
Before you begin, go meet a few people in various places in the room (front, back, left, right.) Make them smile; find out their names and what they do. Now you have some friendly faces to look at while you’re speaking.
This creates an incredible amount of rapport with your audience because it helps you to speak to the “entire” room and it allows you to be more conversational. The next thing you know, if you’re doing a good job, you’ll find friendly faces all over the room.
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