How to work with complex listeners at a speech?
Alexey Milovanov, business coach, owner of the public sales Agency Public Sale, explains in detail how the speaker behaves at performances with different types of” anti-heroes “from the audience, which have a destructive effect on your image as an expert and how to emerge victorious from difficult situations with such” screamers»
At any speech, there will be a listener who will interfere with the speaker’s work. A kind of” scoundrel ” who will talk loudly on the phone, interrupt the speaker and ask him questions right in the middle of his speech. Or, which is not excluded — he will demonstrate his disagreement with the speaker’s thoughts.
And if we consider the latter option-such a “detractor” can use even elementary nonverbal. For example, head nods can serve as a way of expressing dissatisfaction. With these nods, he will hint that the information you provide is incorrect. Or he can cry out without hesitation that everything you say is wrong. There is another scenario: a person can simply get up and leave, showing their indignation with all their appearance.
There is another type of scoundrel. I call them looters: they are novice competitors who offer their services much cheaper to a foreign audience at such events. If you notice such a person in the crowd, immediately remove him from the hall.
Rarely, but still there are people who are openly rude and rude to the speaker. But you should know that people only behave as you allow them to. Therefore, stop this behavior immediately. Don’t let your audience get on your neck. You are the host at your performance. Here only you set the rules. But at the same time be friendly, treat your listeners as guests who came to your house. But if the “guest” will behave incorrectly, do not hesitate to point him to the door.
There are several techniques that will minimize the number of negative listeners in your speech.
Rules are the primary tool
This tool is used at the beginning. For example, in my speeches, I tell my audience that there are a number of simple rules that need to be followed until the end of the event.
Rule # 1
Mobile phones must be turned off for the duration of the event. Here I explain: if someone’s phone rings, it will disturb the entire room. And I will simply have to ask the person who ignores this rule to leave. Because this is, at the very least, disrespectful to all those present in the hall.
The type of “punishment” depends on the topic of the speech and the audience that is present. If the audience is young and open, for example, I can offer a guilty listener to draw a mustache. I ask the public who agrees with such demands. Usually, everyone is loyal to my proposal, and agrees: either we draw the offender a mustache, or he leaves my performance.
Here it is important to demonstrate that your rules are dictated by your concern for your audience — when a person breaks the rules, they interfere with all those present. Ask the audience to applaud or raise their hands if they agree with this rule. Ideally, all 100 % of listeners should agree to this rule.
If the seminar is held in the format of a webinar, I ask the audience to turn off their TVs, mobile devices, and girls — to remove the manicure set. Experience has shown that people are not as serious about distance learning as they are about learning in the gym. For them, this is more of an easy pastime. And for me, it is important that all my listeners are fully involved in the process. And I openly tell them about it.
Rule # 2
The only question on the schedule. Remember this yourself and bring it to the audience: questions are asked either at the end of the speech, or when you raise your hand (and then you can give the person the opportunity to ask a question). For me, the first option is preferable. But if a person shouts out their questions, I give them a warning. If this happens again, I ask the offender to leave the event.
Rule # 3
100% engagement. The goal of the third rule is to position the participant to use time with absolute efficiency. I’ll tell you more about this when we move on to the next tool.
What is very important: before moving on, you should know that throughout the seminar, people are guaranteed to test your strength. It is important for them to know whether you require compliance with their rules or not.
For example, if your company has a rule that says that you can’t be late, but no one really follows this process, then, of course, after a while people will come when it is convenient for them. But if, after the first delay, a person receives a fine or reprimand, the possibility of further delays is minimal.
Second tool: your behavior throughout the performance
Even despite the rules, people often still allow themselves to shout questions. And here you need to let the person know that if they repeat the violation, they will have to leave the event. You should be reminded that your rules must be followed. Explain to your audience that you will not answer their questions because they duplicate the information that lies ahead. You don’t have to flatter a person’s ego, you don’t have to give up everything and answer their question right away. If the audience sees your serious attitude to your own rules-most likely the situation will not repeat.
If suddenly there is noise and chatter between neighbors during your performance, just pause. Start looking at these people. And after a few seconds, the entire hall will look at these violators with condemnation. Usually this is enough to stop such antics once and for all.
If there is a dispute, use a special technique that will stop this mess.
Well, for a start, you can interrupt them in response and remind them that the discipline has not been canceled. Say that if someone has a desire to argue — you can do it after the performance is over. But now you are not going to waste time arguing.
Sometimes it happens that a person does not get the attention he needs (this syndrome is often found in “couch critics”, such pseudo-experts), and he can leave the hall quite loudly, demonstrating his dissatisfaction with this. For such incidents, it is useful to have an Arsenal of suitable jokes. For example: “Thank God, I am so glad that this man has left, how glad I am that he has finally gone home. You know what’s funny? He comes to me for every performance and every time exactly at 20:53 (look at the clock, call the current time) he leaves. I don’t know what he goes for, but for some reason it gives him pleasure to defiantly leave the hall. In the hope that someone will run after him, and this still does not happen!”By this behavior, you will show that this is an absolutely stupid and ridiculous situation, despite which you need to remain a listener and sit further.
Such checks usually occur at the very beginning. And if you successfully pass them, then your listeners will no longer have the desire to test you again. And they will follow the rules that you set in the beginning.
Tool three: “vaccination against bad guys»
This is probably my favorite tool. At least because initially at the start of the event, we show the audience that there are several categories of people. People who can’t do anything. We show them the wrong behaviors.
So, now about each “subspecies” separately. The “pseudo-expert” category is those people who are not able to gather their audience. And they start looking for it in other people’s halls, at other people’s performances. They are the ones who interrupt and criticize the speaker and start an argument. And all in order to attract at least some attention to yourself and share your “expert” opinion in the framework of someone else’s speech. And at the same time, they brazenly spend the priceless opinion of your audience.
Therefore, I go on to say that such people do not have any significant achievements. Because any decent expert will not spoil the performance of other people. Moreover, even if the opinion of one person does not coincide with another, a real expert is always ready to listen to him. He comes to the event in order to learn something new, to expand his views.
And when such a pseudo-expert begins to manifest himself at a speech, the entire audience is ready to understand: this is the person we were told about. And they start making fun of him.
The second hero of our stories is the “Marauder”. This is the person who came to someone else’s performance in order to sell their services on the sly. They try to find customers among someone else’s event, since they do not have their own customers. This position is weak, to put it mildly. And unworthy. These looters behave so disrespectfully that they can approach your guest directly during the performance or during his break and offer him their services. Moreover, they offer their services much cheaper: they do not have either their clients or sufficient professionalism to indicate a high cost.
As a rule, these people have nothing: no clients, no real expertise. And they go to other people’s halls in the hope of getting at least something, at least one client.
Believe that any person who is doing well with sales and knowledge will not behave this way. If someone starts to poach your audience during the event, it is clear that the attitude to this person will be bad.