Knowing your Audience
How to know if your Audience is Comfortable with You
When talking to someone, pay attention to their body language: it’s the best indicator of how they feel about you. Some of these are:
- Coat unbuttoned. When your coworker, boss, or business associate unbuttons their coat, it’s a sign they’re becoming more comfortable with you and are more open to what you have to say.
- Scratches top of head (or lean back and put hands on top of head). This usually means they are not comfortable with what you’re saying.
- Mirrors your body language. This means they are comfortable with you. For example, if you lean back or shift your weight from one leg to the other and your conversation partner mimics this action, then this means they are comfortable with you.
- Increased eye contact. The more the person looks at you, the more comfortable they are with you.
How to know if Your Audience Is Interested in What You’re Saying
Does this sound familiar? You’re in your boss’s office and you’ve been talking for about three minutes. Suddenly you get the feeling you’ve been talking to yourself. Here are tips to find out if the other person is really listening to you, or if they are distracted by something else.
- Increased eye blink indicates interest.
- Head tilted to either side shows the other person is not only listening to what you’re saying, but is actually processing the information. (If the person’s head is straight, they aren’t interested.)
- Hand to chin indicates the other person is forming opinions about what you’re saying and, therefore, is interested.
- Chin resting on knuckles shows that the other person is not opposed to what you’re saying, and is interested.
- Touching bridge of nose. Many times this indicates that the person you’re taking to wants more information.
- Takes glasses off and slowly places them on the table means they are no longer interested.
- Chin in palm of hand shows your audience is no longer interested.
How to know if Your Audience Is Annoyed with You
Any of the following can indicate that your conversation partner is less-than-pleased with you. Stay on the lookout for these clues:
- Looks over top of glasses. (Disapproves of you: doesn’t believe what you’re saying)
- Steeping of hands indicates they feel superior to you, and don’t think you are as intelligent as they are. (Steeping is placing your hands in front of you in a triangular form, with the tips of your fingers touching each other at the top.)
- Hand to the back of the neck shows, literally, that the other person thinks you’re a pain in the neck! After reading the lists above you might be thinking: “Hey, I sit and stand like that and it doesn’t mean I’m not comfortable or not interested, It just means that that particular position is the most comfortable for me.” Ah, yes. But why is that position the most comfortable for you at that given moment? Subconsciously, something may be bugging you.
- So, if you find yourself comfortable in one of the positions described, ask yourself “why am I more comfortable in that position?” and try to be aware of your positions in times of uncomfortable. You may discover otherwise
How to know If Your Audience Is being Less Than Truthful
Somebody may be saying all the right things, but there is often an involuntary body reflex of some sort that gives them away. Some of the most common signs that someone Is lying to you include:
Touches the side of their nose with their finger. If you remember watching Johnny Carson, you may also remember that after his monologue he would say. “We’ve got a great show for you this evening.” Some nights he meant it, some nights he didn’t. whenever he felt his show wasn’t going to be quite up to par-while he said, “we’ve got a great show for you tonight, folks, “he would touch the side of his nose. On nights when he truly believed he had a bang-up show, he wouldn’t touch his nose. Watch today’s late night comedians. See if you can pick out their body language clues that give away. (Hint: David Letterman is one of the easier ones.)
Hands-to-the-face movement. This is a gesture lawyers watch in trial witnesses to direct inconsistencies in their stories. Many lawyers coach their defendants to make sure their facial expressions are consistent with their words. They also coach their clients to not touch their face or rub their chin when asked a tough question.