I am constantly faced with the challenge of getting my point across. Every time I lecture, every time I present, and every time I’m in the boardroom. It doesn’t matter where – the goal is always the same. Here’s how to win over the crowd before you even begin speaking.
I like to get to the scene early. I try to meet every one in the room – it doesn’t matter if that room is filled with a hundred people, or ten executives in an intimate setting. I shake everyone’s hand and look straight into his or her eyes as I introduce myself. Through this small, simple gesture, I’ve made a connection. The most powerful tool you possess is your introduction, your smile, your ability to connect with people in only an instant. The crowd recognizes that I’ve made an effort to put myself out there.
After I’ve worked the room, I’ve already made some friends. Allies, really. People are much more willing to rally to your cause if they feel as though they know even a little bit about you and that you’ve given something to them. They’re on your side before you’ve opened your mouth to sell anything at all. It doesn’t matter what you’re pitching.
Once I’m up presenting, I can continue to look people in the eye and smile. They’re not strangers, and that’s comforting. This advice might seem too simple to be so powerful, but don’t knock it until you’ve seen how well it works. Sell yourself successfully before you’ve even begun to pitch.
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