How to Be a Better Audience Member

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 12:53 Written by Pam Chambers Wednesday, 21 December 2011 09:15

I once read a fascinating report about a solo singer who performed before two different audiences. The first audience was instructed to slump back in their chairs as she sang. The second audience was instructed to lean forward. You know what happened: she performed better for the second audience.

If only audience members were aware of their power! I once entertained the idea of offering a workshop called, “How to Be a Better Audience Member,” but my most honest friends told me that the room would be empty. “They don’t care.” But they should care! After all, wouldn’t we all rather listen to a good speaker than one who is mediocre?

Here’s how you can help any speaker be better:

  1. Lean in. Plug in. Become engaged.
  2. If the speaker says something funny or surprising, make responsive sounds.
  3. When the speaker asks questions, nod your head, raise your hand, or give a verbal response.

It’s that simple. Better audience members = better speakers.


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