Have you ever been on stage and looked out in the audience to see a woman in the second row grinning from ear-to-ear, wrapped in attention?
Then you look over to the left and three rows behind her, you see a man with his arms crossed, wearing a face of stone. It gets worse! You look over a few minutes later, and you see him rolling his eyes during your powerful points!
Who do you spend your time focusing on?
I remember seeing this all the time in my early stand-up comedy days, as well as when I was a new speaker. It still happens to me, but there’s a big difference in how I handle it now.
I’m not sure why we do it — but if you’re anything like me, you probably find yourself gravitating towards Mr. Stoneface. For some reason, we have this urge to “win him over.” We have a natural tendency to believe that we must “get him.”
We are 100% wrong.
It’s funny… because more often than not, those are the people who come up to us afterward and say it was the funniest speech they’d ever heard. Really? Why didn’t you tell your face?!?
The truth is, Mr. Stoneface may have been loving your presentation — but perhaps he just grew up in an environment where he learned not to express his feelings. Perhaps his spouse had just walked out on him and he decided to come to a seminar to get himself out of the house. Or, perhaps the reason was even worse than this.
We don’t know what’s happening in the lives of our audience. Thank goodness! That could really mess us up!
Here’s the problem. We allow Mr. Stoneface to “affect” our presentation and performance through our focus. When we focus on the people that suck energy out of us, we get drained. That does not serve us, or the rest of the audience.
We need to remember to “invest” our focus time on Ms. Happy in the second row. Giving her more attention will feed us, and our performance. The more energy we get from her, the more we can give to the rest of the individuals in our audience.
Who will you focus on?
2001 World Champion of Public Speaking
This Week’s Video Clip:
Brian Tracy sent me a personal video.
He remembered me from when I started speaking!
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Introducing a new section in Stage Time:
• • • • ASK DARREN • • • •
I get questions all the time, so I thought you might have similar questions.
“Darren, why should all professional speakers
become members of Toastmasters?”
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