It may seem more difficult to create connection in a larger group setting, however this is necessary in order to have influence and ensure people engage. It is important to help people feel comfortable in connecting with you and your message.
Next time you are presenting or communicating to a larger audience, try these best practice tips:
- Do not stand or sit behind a desk or podium.
- Do not fold your arms since it communicates a closed posture.
- Try not to use acronyms that people don’t understand.
- Highlight with the team the things they are doing right as a cheerleading approach.
- Recognize employees to establish trust however try not to single people out unless you know how they will react or if it is a formal process you always use. It can make others feel uncomfortable if they are not recognized.
- Recognize group performance by trying general summaries like “You are performing well as a team and meeting our monthly performance targets. Thank you for all that you do. We truly appreciate it.”
- Use casual spaces, not just the boardroom or podium style. Consider walking meetings, shop floor town halls or smaller group settings.
- Make sure it is two-way conversations by asking the audience questions as you proceed.
- Ask for input or concerns from the team. Make a list if there are several items and get the team to help prioritize which should be fixed first.
- Be vulnerable and share personal stories when relevant.