Some people aren’t built to be up front. Talking in front of more than three people, holding a boardroom’s attention or managing a meeting can be really daunting. No matter how good you are at communicating, the butterflies still come. Here are some fantastic pointers to exuding confidence and keeping control of your listeners’ attention!
Here are a few ways to help you own the room:
1. Avoid looking defensive. If people challenge something you’ve said, you will be more likely to win over the audience by reacting with a calm, open tone.
2. Adjust your outlook. If something goes wrong, change your internal monologue from, “Oh, no, this is becoming a disaster,” to, “I’m a competent speaker and will regain control of the room in a moment.” You can then regain control by saying something such as: “This is a valuable discussion, and because it’s so important, I’m going to leave some time at the end of the session to continue the conversation. But in order to more fully inform that discussion, I’m going to move ahead and discuss two other points first…”
3. Be the most dominant person. You can rein in dominant personalities by telling them you’d like to continue your discussion with them during a break, walking slowly into their personal space and turning your body away from them, or asking other people to comment.
4. Be a good time cop. Susan Weinschenk, a psychologist and author of “100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People,” writes that speakers can demonstrate their ownership of a room by taking breaks at prescribed times, starting their presentations on time after breaks, and pacing their presentations so they don’t appear to be rushing toward the end.
Thanks to Brad Phillips for this article that appeared on PR Daily.