Your Audience Is Speaking. Are You Listening?

August 14, 2009 in Business (E)

[] San Francisco, CA - Rexi Media has recently released a presentation skills iPhone app, titled Presenter Pro, which enables you to learn the subtleties of body language and become a seasoned presenter. While you're downloading the app from the iTunes store, here are a few things to keep in mind as your audience is listening to you during your next presentation:

1. Watch out for signs that they want to speak. Some presenters are so concerned with getting all the message to fit in that they ignore simple cues such as intakes of breath, irritated finger tapping, finger lift of a waving of the pen. Give them a voice whenever possible. The rest of the audience will appreciate the variety of pace, format, and voice, and your ability to adjust to the moment.

2. Check for disengagement. If you notice participants leaning back, legs stretched out, head in hands, blank stares, frequent reach for the glass of water... it is time to re-engage them and change something about your presentation style. Get them involved by asking questions or inviting them to offer additional comments to what you said. Consider varying your presentation format every five-six minutes to create unpredictability and keep them interested.

3. Look for hidden emotions. Sometimes listeners may want to conceal disagreement with your message, either because they wish to avoid confrontation or are too embarrassed to speak up. When people want to mask their emotions, they will reduce the amount of body gestures, they are quieter, have toned down expressions, fewer eyebrow flashes, a tense jaw, and fake smile (no wrinkles around the eyes). Their shoulders are tense. When people touch their face, or smooth their hair, or wring their hands - these may be signals of comforting themselves from the problems they are concealing from you. Soften your voice, which can help to stop resentful body language. On the other hand signals, such as micro-nods, uncrossed arms, and eye-contact typically indicate that your listeners are accepting your message.

Always check the emotional tone of your audience from multiple sources. Crossed arms, for instance, may indicate rejection of ideas as much as cold temperature in a room or simply a comfortable position. If people scratch their noses, it does not necessarily mean that they are lying. People often mimic each other - if they see someone crossing their legs, they are more inclined to do it. Interpreting body language frequently depends on cultural factors, personal habits, and social norms. To learn more about such factors and the wisdom behind interpreting body language cues, download Rexi Media's Presenter Pro app. Check out the Gesture Gallery for a quick quiz.

Minimum Requirements:
iPhone or iPod touch 2.2 or later

Pricing and Availability:
Presenter Pro is currently available through Apple's iPhone App Store and has a special introductory price.

Founded in 2007, Rexi Media works internationally to provide executive coaching and training designed to help business professionals give outstanding, memorable presentations that transform audiences into advocates. Copyright 2007-2009 Rexi Media. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.