You can’t be a good speaker if you’re not an effective listener. There’s an old adage that says “We have two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as we speak.” It’s important to listen not only during daily conversations but also in the context of presentations. How does listening make you a better presenter?
We’ve listed the top three benefits you’ll get when you harness this skill into a presentation tool:
Your Audience Feels Respected
Listening is the simplest form of audience respect. Giving them undivided attention shows that you value their thoughts on your presentation.
When listening, use silence as a strategic pause to prove that you’re paying attention. Also, using facial expressions, nodding, and maintaining eye contact make your audiences feel significant and like they have a place and say in your pitch.
Your Audience Connects with You
Showing that you’re interested in listening to your audience keeps them engaged throughout your discussion. This enables them to ask questions and freely express their views on your material—it lets you clarify possible misconceptions and respond correctly.
Listening doesn’t only encourage you to elaborate on and define solutions to your audience’s problems, but also builds better rapport and understanding.
Your Audience Reciprocates and Listens Back
Attention is the greatest gift that any speaker can get from their audience. Effective listening habits trigger reciprocity and make them listen to you, too. Why would you expect your participants to listen if you don’t listen to them?
Make sure your audience has a place in your presentation. They need to be acknowledged and involved in your entire speech. Whether you respond to their feedback, call them by name, or entertain their idea, you’re allowing them to make their stand and receive the information you’re saying.
It’s been said that listening is the key to understanding. Be an effective listener to show your audience respect, connect with them, and allow them to get involved.
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“4 Things to Avoid in Order to Gain Respect During a Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2013. Accessed June 17, 2015.
“A Presenter’s Guide to Building Audience Rapport.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 17, 2015.
Nemko, Marty. “How to Become a Better Listener.” Psychology Today. Accessed June 17, 2015.