Focus on One Person at a Time Before and After a Presentation While Maintaining Eye Contact

Just a few days ago, I met a speaker after the speaker’s presentation. We started a conversation and then, all of a sudden, seemed distracted by others in the room. I lost this person’s contact . Was she focusing on someone else? Was she listening-even hearing-what I was saying? I wasn’t sure, so what did I do? I finished, perhaps my one-sided, conversation, with, “Well, it was nice talking to you” and simply left. Has this happened to you?

Before you begin a presentation, you generally should mingle with your audience, and then after the presentation, you should again take the opportunity to meet with your audience to answer questions and to proceed with your back of the room sales (if you have products). However, this is not the purpose of this article.

The purpose of this article is about focusing on one person at a time when you are mingling with the audience before and after your presentation.

Have you been to a networking group and met someone and as soon as you begin conversing, he/she begins to shop the room? How did you feel? Small? Not important? Slighted?

President Reagan, and even President Clinton, were known to be quite attentive when speaking to others. Even thought they were former presidents, if you were able to converse with them, you had their fullest attention. It was as if nothing else mattered. How would you feel? Important? Respected?

Perhaps there may be a time when you want to meet a particular person and you notice him/her. What do you do? Do you abruptly leave the person with whom you were conversing? Do you say, “Just a sec!” and rush to meet this other person? I’ve seen these scenarios far too often. What I try the best to do is to be truthful and ask, “I really have been wanting to meet Mr/Ms. So and So. Do you mind if I leave you for a moment? I’ll return immediately after I meet this person.” Then when you meet this person, you may speed up your meeting by saying, “…I really would like to have a few minutes with you; however, I’m busy with this other person. Could we meet in 30 minutes at…or immediately after dinner?”

When you are meeting the members of the audience, either before or after your presentation, you should:

* Be attentive, make eye contact, and listen when someone is speaking.
* Avoid shopping the room as you talk.
* Be truthful if you happen to see someone you really must meet.