If you have ever gone to a networker or any kind of meeting or social event where you didn’t know anyone, most likely your first few moments weren’t that comfortable. If you’re on the shy side, you pray that someone will step forward and introduce themselves to you. If you’re somewhat outgoing, you look around for a person who seems a bit welcoming and forge ahead to introduce yourself. In either case, you are often painfully aware of an invisible barrier between you and the others in the room, and your goal is to cross it into the land of friendliness and familiarity.
When you are face-to-face with an audience there is always an invisible barrier at the outset – be it an industry group, the parent teachers association, a city commission meeting or your own team.
I was at a chamber of commerce luncheon when a major car company sponsored the event, spending thousands of dollars for the exposure. At the last minute, the high-ranking executive who was supposed to be the speaker had to cancel and instead, a beautiful young woman was introduced. She appeared to have no stage fright and in a comfortable manner, greeted everyone warmly.
Right away, however, she began to lose the audience and reinforce that invisible barrier. Instead of a presentation geared to top-level executives, community leaders and business owners, her talk focused on aspects of the new line of cars that would appeal only to those ready to buy right now, and especially young male drivers. That may have worked well at a car show, but not at the Chamber.
How do you overcome that invisible barrier? Show that you know what you’re talking about and that you are worth the attention you’re asking. Deliver more than expected!
Get Tips to Capture Their Attention When You Begin Speaking! Click here to enjoy this free excerpt of How to Open to Keep Their Attention on You and Not Their Phones, a workshop Anne B. Freedman recently provided the Fort Lauderdale Chapter, National Association of Women Business Owners.