It hit me at the Texas Women’s Conference in Austin lately that audiences REALLY WANT to like the speaker. The women in the room arrived at each session hoping that the speaker would be warm and relatable.
We wanted to look at that panel of women and think, “She’s cool. She’s been around the block, and she’s honest and funny about it. She’s like me. I could work with her and enjoy it.”
It’s the same for men. The audience wants to like you – and that is what they are deciding in the first minutes of your presentation. Do I like this guy?
Want to know what the #1 turn off is to an audience? Perceived arrogance.
Are you nervous? We’ll feel sorry for you.
Are you talking too fast? We’ll think you’re excited or funny.
Are you so serious that you can’t manage a grin or a pleasant look? We might think you’re arrogant.
The audience at a conference is yours for the taking if you’ll just calm down and throw us some love. We want to have a good time. We want to learn something from you. We want to laugh, and we want to like you.