Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

Seriously.  There's a simple head movement, combined with eye contact, that will impress your audience. And it really is simple: Look around to find individuals.

Every now and then (maybe every second or third individual) give that person a very small nod as you give them direct eye contact for between one and two seconds.  The nod has to be very small, almost imperceptible. The eye contact is not much more than a single heartbeat. Then move to someone else.

Why does that impress the audience? 

Because we all have a subconscious wish that whoever talks to us is actually interested in us.  In just a few seconds, even though you haven't reached everyone yet, the entire audience gets the feeling that you are more interested in them than in your own survival.  Now they're more likely to listen to your message.  I told you it was simple.

That's not your challenge. Your challenge is to deal with your inner voice of caution which will whisper This feels and looks weird. So here's a suggestion. First try it out on at least two friends. Family maybe? Sit them down in front of you, tell them exactly what you need the feedback on, then - talking on a serious topic - look from one to the other with the nod and the direct eye contact. Ask them how it looks.

Now for a real audience. If you can arrange it, get a friend to sit in and give you subtle signals. Thumbs up - looks good. Palm up - do it more. Palm down - do it less. The beauty of that is that your voice of caution settles down instantly on the thumbs up.

Have fun. 


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