Yesterday was the last of our public presentation skills training courses before the summer and we were working with our usual mix of introverts and extraverts. The latter are easier to present to because their faces will give you, instantly, feedback on how well you are doing as a presenter â€“ that’s the nature of extraverts.It’s tempting then, to ‘panic’ when youâ€™re faced with introverts in your audience (especially if you’re in introvert yourself) because their (comparative) lack of response can look like they’re not interested â€“ even when they are. They just don’t show it in the same way.In the words of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Don’t Panic!
One handy way of practicing reading the more subtle responses of your audience is to play a game on the tube, train or the bus. Read a copy of the free Metro newspaper that’s around almost everywhere these days – to get yourself familiar with the stories in it – then watch as other people read it and see if you can figure out what stories they are reading from their faces. Don’t worry if you’re wrong â€“ it’s only a game. The important thing isn’t to get it right, just to practice looking closely.
By the way, don’t forget to be subtle, too â€“ I don’t want complaints of harrassment all over the place!