During your remarks, observe:
- Signs of power (i.e. who people look at for approval, how people are seated, who speaks the most, who controls the conversation)
- Affirmative and interested behavior (i.e. nods, smiles, note-taking, leaning forward, direct eye contact, relaxed body language)
- Signs of confusion (i.e. furrowed brow, scowls, looking around at others, stiff and uncomfortable body language)
- Signs of disinterest (i.e. vacant eyes, looking at phone or clock)
- Type of follow up (i.e. whether people respond with interested follow up or changing the subject)
- Topics for follow up (i.e. what topics people focus on during any follow-up (i.e. are they getting caught up on particular details, do they need more clarity, are they exploring possibilities and ideas)
During your remarks, adjust:
- Restate relevance and credibility. Be clear about why your content is relevant to them and why you know what you’re talking about.
- Take the time to teach, without being condescending. Offer more examples, explain what they don’t already know, and define terms.
- Modify your time. Spend more time on something of interest and move on more quickly when losing attention. Pose rhetorical questions when you feel you are losing them.
- Build background. Make comparisons to something they know and build upon their prior knowledge. Highlight stories and examples that are unexpected, surprising, and different from their experiences.
- Revisit top priorities. Address their questions and concerns before they even mention them, based on what you know they care about.