Presentation Tip - Ignore Grumpy

Presentation Tip - Ignore Grumpy

Don’t get hung up over the one person whose body language suggests that he hates you. You don’t know what is troubling them. When speaking to one group I was pleased that the audience laughed and seemed to be enjoying my presentation. All except one person who sat with arms crossed and a grumpy face. Each time I looked at him my gut tightened. After the presentation he approached me and said with the same grump face, “You were the best speaker we have ever had.” Some people just look grumpy on the outside.

Don't focus on Grumpy. Instead speak to the 80% of the audience with which you have a chance to connect.

George Torok

Corporate Spokesperson

Executive Speech Coach

Presentation Skills Training


Rhett Laubach said...

George, great post. I had a contract last year to do six three-hour motivational/life-skills programs to municipality workers (street cleaners, cemetary managers, waste management crews, etc.) The audience was 90% male, 75% were 40 or older (I am 34) and probably 50-75% were grumpys. I had one guy in particular that had his arms crossed and was shooting back defensive remarks all the way up to the first break. At the break, I approached him, we chatted, I was able to find out where you was coming from on a number of issues (he had learned and then taught leadership in the military) and after the break he was my best ally and contributed greatly the conversation. Like you said, some people just look grumpy on the outside. To add to that, some people who may even bea Grumpy on the inside may turn into a Happy on the inside and outside if you take an opportunity to create a personal connection with them. I agree with you that during your normal program is not the time to create that connection. Your focus needs to be on the majority that is with you.

George Torok said...

H Rhett,

Thanks for your comment and example. Sometimes the easiest way to get people on side is to recruit them to help - as you did.

George Torok