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.

Presentations – Stand Out Tip – Look ‘em in the Eye

The remarkable thing about having powerful presentation skills is that they “trickle down” to all of your interpersonal communications, whether in meetings, interviews, or even phone calls. So mastering the tough skills of standing up and standing out in front of a crowd also means you’ll have the ability to stand out in all your interactions. There are a handful of qualities that consistently do give you stand out status. Doesn’t matter how smart or talented or attractive you are-universally, these attributes can make you the kind of person that other people want to know, work with and do business with.

One powerful such attribute is “look em in the eye.” In our culture, eye communication is correlated with trust and credibility.

What do you think about those who can’t look at you while talking to you? At best, you might assume a lack of confidence or knowledge about what they’re talking about. At worst, you may think they’re lying. Neither are particularly desirable assessments! And turn it around. Suppose you’re the one talking and your listener is not looking at you. How does that make you feel? At best, you might feel like you’re not being listened to; at worst, it sends a signal of disinterest and disrespect. That’s certainly not conducive to good communication.

I do an exercise in my training workshops where I pair everyone up into partners, A & B. Each pair has a conversation where A talks and B listens. However, at a signal from me, B must break eye communication. What happens next varies from workshop to workshop, but it always has one of these results: (1) the room goes silent as all the As get so derailed, they stop talking, (2) the volume level increases substantially as some of the As talk louder to get the attention of the disengaged Bs, or (3) there’s hilarious laughter as the As realize they can’t communicate with B if B isn’t looking them in the eye!

In a workshop I did for a printing company, a participant, who happened to be the group’s manager, spoke up during the debriefing of that exercise and announced, “This was a life-changing event for me.” Wow. I asked her to explain.

“Well, I have always prided myself on my ability to multi-task. I could be proofing a galley and typing a memo, and if an employee came into my office, I could still listen to whatever they had to tell me without breaking stride on the other stuff. But what I just learned is, it doesn’t matter whether I’m listening to them or not. The perception is that I’m not. And I don’t want to make it hard for my team to communicate with me.”

The rest of that story is, several years later, I ran into this manager at a social event. I told her what a strong impression her admission had made on me all those years ago and asked her if it had truly guided her communications after that. She assured me that it had. And, by the way, she had in those few years, become one of the partners of the company. All due to being able to look people in the eye? Who knows? But it’s clearly an important “stand out” skill.

Here’s a great way to remember its value: “eye communication” insures you’re not having “I communication.” The ability to look someone in the eye — whether you’re talking or listening — conveys an interest in the other party, which makes that person feel special, appreciated, listened to. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about a stare-down. It’s natural to occasionally break a gaze, to glance at notes, to raise your eyes in thought. But when your eyes are primarily focused elsewhere, it’s a huge disconnect. Eye communication is a strong connecting behavior. It instills confidence and trust.

Tips For Surviving a Timeshare Presentation

If you have ever been on a nice vacation at a really great resort, there’s a good chance that someone has invited you to come and sit through a presentation. But not just any presentation – a timeshare presentation. Most vacationers have been exposed to this kind of invitation because they are the most likely people to actually buy. So if you’re taking a vacation soon and you suspect you will be persuaded to attend a timeshare presentation, here are tips on how to survive one (or a few):

Make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Before you take a vacation, try to research about any possible timeshare presentations that you might come across with while you’re at the resort. That way, you’ll find one that offers you the best opportunity at a schedule that is the most convenient for you. And yes, try to look for signs that it might be scam so you can protect yourself.

Know your incentive for coming to the presentation.

What are you there for, really? Is it to browse available real property for future purchase or maybe you just want to sit through it so you could qualify for the gift or discount at the end of the pitch? When you attend a timeshare presentation, make sure to keep your focus on the reason you’re there in the first place, so you don’t make any decisions that could affect your future finances.

Ask if you can afford it.

Buying a timeshare means getting money out of your wallet to pay the company that offers it. And that’s not all. There’s a regular payment you have to make over the course of many years, not to mention the fees you have to shoulder to cover for maintenance and other related expenses.

If you want to survive a timeshare presentation, don’t feel pressured to sign up for anything, especially if you feel it’s not right for you or if you don’t have the budget at the moment. Remember that there’s always a next time – the right time when you’re not only a willing attendant to the timeshare presentation but also a capable buyer.

Ask if you want it.

Never jump into making a decision you might regret later on. Remember that when you buy a timeshare, you’re actually buying a long-term investment. However, it’s not the kind of investment that functions in the same way as regular real property. Timeshares don’t appreciate over time. And since most of the advantages of buying a timeshare rides on how regularly you or someone you know takes a vacation, you might not really want a timeshare because you don’t really need it.

If you want to survive a timeshare presentation, make sure to keep this in mind.

Go ahead and take the freebie.

Even if you don’t buy or promise to buy anything, don’t feel guilty. If the folks who organized the timeshare presentation gives you a gift that is appropriate for your particular circumstances, accept it and thank them. Some people feel reluctant about accepting gifts from salespeople they don’t actually buy from but it’s perfectly okay. You’re not actually taking away a huge cost from these salespeople because the freebies are part of their marketing strategy and are already factored into the costs of producing the presentation.

The people who put up these timeshare presentations rely on the law of averages (which, by the way, is quite often on their side). That means they’re likely to recoup their investments thanks to great sales pitches and the folks who actually buy timeshares from them. So next time you get offered a gift during a timeshare presentation, go ahead and take it. Don’t worry. The salespeople will survive.