How can I create an instant rapport with an audience?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,402
    Communications expert Sean McArdle discusses how to speak in public including how to create an instant rapport with an audience.

    Host:How can I create an instant rapport with an audience?

    Sean McArdle: Rapport is the ability to build a road if you will between yourself and an audience through which your communication can flow. Now, it is an interesting thing that for years and years, we have spoken from a puppet or some kind of a stand when we speak to people publicly.

    If you look at professional speakers who are out there today, none of them will stand behind a podium or some kind of a puppet. It might be good if you are going to deliver a sermon, but it is really no good at developing rapport because is the exchange, once again of communication over some kind of a roadway and we call that roadway energy. So, the easiest way to create rapport with the crowd is to stop right in the very beginning, look at each one of them and smile. To stop and get them to react to you in a way that you would want them to do so.

    So, stop and smile so you see that that worked, good everybody is happy this morning and then you might start by asking an interesting question. You see too many speakers get up and say; here is how it is about me instead of saying here is what I find interesting about you.

    So, one of the very first thing you can do to create rapport is to ask a question that is really meaningful to your audience. In fact, you might want to ask them a question that you already have the answer to, one that might trouble them. For instance, why is it that most companies in this country do not consistently sell what they have in their annual sales plan?

    Now, if you are talking to a sales audience that will get them on the edge of their seats. If you are talking to Chief Executives, you might say, why is it, that Chief Executives who are so successful on business and one of the highest divorce rates in the country that will get their attention. Do not make them wonder, do I have an answer to something that they did not have before they got here. So, the first thing to do is if ask a question that is meaningful to grab your audiences attention and lead them to believe that they are going to get more than they bargain for you.