Skeptical People in your Audience

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

Yesterday I started a new series of classes with a construction company. The owner warned me that there would be a couple of people who would be skeptical of the value of my message and methods. He looked worried when he told me this. I felt like saying, “That doesn’t bother me one bit.” Instead, I sympathized with his concern.

Sure enough, two of the seven participants displayed resistant body language: One sat with his arms tightly crossed. The other leaned back in his chair, hands clasped behind his head.

It took about 15 minutes to win them over. I did this using logic and humor. “I’m sure you’re wondering why I say you shouldn’t stand with your hands covering your crotch. By the way, that’s called ‘Fig-Leaf Position.’ The reason is that you might be misunderstood as someone who needs protection. I’m sure you’d like to come across as more confident than that. Thus, train yourself to separate your hands.”

These folks are logical, practical, and function primarily from the left-brain. Everything I say needs to make sense. If you face audiences of this ilk, be sure you can back up your teachings with logic.



The Life-Changing Power of “Thank You”

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

People who earn black belts in karate get there by being grateful for each kick that lands them on the floor. They scramble to their feet, bow, and say, “Thank you!” to the person who knocked them down.

When I first witnessed that, I knew I had to make an immediate change in how my public speaking students responded to feedback. Instead of explanation, defensiveness, or justification, gratitude was in order.

When you simply say, “Thank you” to feedback, the feedback has a chance to be absorbed. You then have three choices: Keep it, analyze it, or throw it away. But you can do none of these if the feedback doesn’t get in.

You might benefit by implementing feedback about your volume, rate of speech, duration of eye contact, willingness to think before responding to questions, and much, much more.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

Waiting for People who are Tardy

Written by Pam Chambers Be first to comment on this post.

“Josh” asked me to observe his financial planning workshop and later give him feedback. At the front of the room was a registration table with 15 name tags. The workshop was to begin at 6:00, but at 6:10 Josh was standing around, chatting with some of the participants.

During our feedback session I asked, “Why did you not start the workshop at 6:00?”

“Because several people weren’t there yet.”

“Oh, so you made the people who were late more important than the people who were on time.”

He said his boss always does that. I said that he needed to change this practice right now. Start on time (but not with your most important point!) and those who arrive late will see that you mean business about starting at 6:00.

Equally important is to show respect by ending on time. You don’t get to go over by ten minutes because you started ten minutes late!