Have you ever seen an audience member with a stone-cold face? Expressionless and even borderline indignant?
This is quite common.
And while the title of this post is Reading Your Audience, another title that would work is Don’t Read Too Much Into Your Audience’s Expressions.
Seeing faces like that instantly makes you think that they are not enjoying your speech or even you. Sure, it’s possible, but not likely. Even if you read them correctly, you can’t let it faze you during your speech.
During a speech contest that I recently participated in, a person in the front row (one of the event coordinators in fact) had a face that I interpreted to be completely disinterested and even annoyed. However, a couple of weeks after the contest I talked to a friend who told me that this particular audience member told him nothing but great things about my speech.
That experience really opened my eyes to this phenomena and how we should take it with a grain of a salty substance.
An audience member may be tired, mad at something that they’re dealing with in their own life, thinking about what’s for dinner, and countless other possibilities. So what. Don’t let it throw you off your game.
Stay focused and search for the faces that look like they give a damn, and heck, those might be the ones that actually don’t give a damn. You never know.
Even if there is only one person in the entire audience that cares or who can possibly benefit from your message, deliver it with ruthless passion.
thirsty speaky my friends. Corny? Deal with it.
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