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Make a Few Friends

by Jim Snack


If you want to be more relaxed during your presentation, make a few friends in the audience before you begin.

Before your performance, visit with people in the audience, making small talk and breaking the ice with a few people.  This will relax you before your performance and give you a few friendly faces to look at in the crowd as you begin your presentation.

I like to start with a few people on the left or right side near the front of the room as that is where I’m usually standing before my performance.  I just say hello, introduce myself and make a little small talk.  I may ask them about where they are from, their job, whatever. 

If someone is wearing a sports jersey, I ask him or her about it.  Recently I was presenting for a government agency near Baltimore, MD, the first person to enter the room was a woman wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey.  We started chatting about football and I learned that she was an avid fan.  Later, during my performance, she was someone I “played to” on the left side of the room, as I felt a lot of positive energy coming from her.

After a little chitchat with someone up front, I may move back a little further in the crowd, doing it again with another small group of people, usually working the edges of the crowd.  I try to visit with someone from the left side of the room, someone from the right side, and someone from the center, so that later, during my performance, I can find a friendly face in any part of the room.  If I make eye contact with these people during my performance, and we have a positive exchange of energy, it draws in those sitting nearby and the positive energy spreads throughout the room. 



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