Saturday 19th January 12:00

Presentation Skills: Charm Your Audience

Business audiences are notorious at being hard to please. If you are giving a presentation to sell an idea, a service, or a product, a good business audience will scrutinise everything you say, especially if there is a cost involved. So, it is important for you to know how to use your presentation skills not just to present information and arguments, but to charm your audience audience to your way of thinking. Here are 3 tactics that will help you do that.

1. Charm Your Audience with your Manner

Being able to charm your audience is a presentation skill that can be learned. The following are some of the ways to increase your charm rating:

· look good: it shows you respect your audience
· make up your mind to like them unconditionally
· defer to them
· be courteous and courtly. Acquire good manners and mannerisms; thank them for taking the time to see you.
· find out enough about them so that you can drop light touches about them into your talk
· pay them sincere compliments ("As experienced professionals, you will know...")
· aim to be of service to them.

2. Charm Your Audience with Intellectual Aikido

One of the key presentation skills that will help you to charm your audience is "intellectual aikido". It is named after a Japanese martial art that goes with an opponent's force not against it. You can use intellectual aikido to charm a business audience by agreeing with your audience not arguing with them. For example...

Don't say: "I know some of you think this could be a waste of money, but you're wrong...
Instead, say: "I know some of you think this could be a waste of money and you're absolutely right! The easiest thing in the world is to under-utilise our products. That's why we have an intensive training, back-up and after-sales service..."

3. Charm Your Audience by Talking About Them, Not You

The words, "I", "They", "We" and "You" have subtle effects on your audience and can move you closer to them or further away. The word, "I" should be used sparingly, for example to refer to your past experiences or mistakes, not to build up your own importance. Reserve "They" for bad news, for example, when you are talking about the competition, as in "Our competitors think we'll fail; but they're wrong". "We", "us", "you" and "your" are good news words. Use them to announce achievements and successes, as in "We'll beat the opposition". "You're onto a winner".

An audience will buy in to you not just for your arguments and ideas but for whether they like you or not. By using these 3 simple presentation skills to charm your audience, you can ensure they do. 

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