Skeptical People in your Audience

Written by Pam Chambers

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.