Throughout my career as a speaker-trainer-entertainer I have had to connect with hundreds, if not thousands of people. Whether it was one-to-one or speaking to a roomful of people, I have realized that the secret to connecting and getting your message across is rapport.
Rapport must be established early on in any presentation. It is the connection between two people that keeps someone listening and more importantly care about what you have to say.
Two things I’ve always used to build rapport are mainly on the physical level: eye contact and facial expressions.
Eye contact is a vital skill that must be developed to be a successful connector and communicator. It goes a long way toward demonstrating that you are competent, personable, honest, and in control.
The proper facial expressions connect to any type of presentation. Facial expressions allow you to convey that you are listening and highly interested in the other person or persons (if speaking to a larger crowd).
The expression on your face also reinforces what you’re saying, adding subtle facets to your meaning and helping you keep someone’s attention.
Eye contact and facial expressions can be a very profound tool when it comes to building trust and rapport.
It really is true that the best way to connect with someone is to show great interest and look them in the eye.
PS… A smile goes a long way too!