Do you believe in “what goes around comes around” or karma? If so, why not resolve to be the type of audience member you would love to enjoy when you’re making a speech or a presentation? This is one of those New Year’s resolutions you will be able to keep!
Agree to live by these 5 simple resolutions and see how well behaved and engaged your next audience is as a result. What goes around comes around!
Get settled before the speaker begins — turn off your cell, put away your coat and purse, have your pen out, etc.
Prepare yourself to receive information. Open your mind and be receptive to learning new information or hearing it in a new way.
Smile warmly at the speaker. No matter how experienced the speaker is, a friendly face is always welcomed.
Refuse to carry on side conversations. If someone tries to whisper to you, motion for them to stop—it’s that simple. Unless something or someone is on fire, there is no reason to have a side conversation when someone is making a presentation. Another person initiating the rude conversation is no excuse—you can choose not to participate. That not only helps the speaker, but hopefully the guilty party will think twice before doing that in the future. Those around you will also be grateful to be rid of the distraction!
Respond openly to the speaker—laugh aloud, applaud strongly, raise your hand when asked. Be an active participant and you’ll have an audience full of them when you speak!
Whether the speaker is giving the best presentation you’ve ever seen, or one you can’t imagine ever sitting through again, please give them the same respect you hope to be shown when you take the stage.
What do you do when someone starts a side conversation during a speech when you’re trying to listen, or even presenting? Let me know your peeves or positive stories of audience participation.
Remember, what goes around comes around.
President, The Zen Speaker
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