When I’m presenting live, I look for a friendly face in the audience. I like to focus on attentive, smiling, thoughtful faces. They give out a good energy that I respond to as a presenter.
Often, just one friendly audience member can make me a better, more confident presenter.
So when it’s my turn to be an audience member, I try to pay the good audience vibe forward. I feel that a presenter will do a better job if someone in the audience gives the performer “good face”. I try to radiate “positive face energy” to the performer. I make eye contact. I smile and nod at the presenter. If it’s supposed to be funny, I’ll laugh or giggle.
Think about this the next time you’re in a deadly dull presentation. We often hear or read about improving our “presentation skills” — but what are we doing to improve our “audience skills?” How are we helping to co-create the presentation experience with the person who’s on stage?
What part can we play — as audience members– to improve the performance of any presenter?