Sign up for a FREE email newsletter and impromptu speaking practice service (DITTY)
Newsletter October 07
My husband and I have just returned from a 2-week trip to Uganda in East Africa.
Whilst English is widely spoken by the Ugandan people, we found that it is spoken in a different way to how we speak, and we had to work hard to understand and be understood.
While there my husband decided to learn how to say “Thank you very much” in Luganda. It is “Webale Nyo”.
When dealing with people we met, such as waiters, shop assistants and taxi drivers, he would always say “Webale Nyo”. This usually created an instant feeling of rapport, as the person would smile or laugh and be pleased and impressed that he had taken the time to learn their language. Males would sometimes say to him “Now we know each other. Now we are friends.” Communication after that moved to a different level.
If we look at this concept in terms of giving a presentation, how much more of an impact does a presentation have when you do something to create rapport with the group?
Do you do anything to create rapport with your audience?
To create rapport consider using some of the following:
Have a good understanding of who is in your audience so you know how to pitch your presentation.
Share something of yourself so they see you as a human being.
Talk about things they will know about, and ideally things they will specifically know about that others may not.
Learn the acronyms they use in their organisation.
Use people’s names.
Talk about current issues to create some common ground, eg the rugby world cup.
Tell stories or anecdotes they will relate to.
A great example I saw of someone creating rapport was when I went to an evening seminar - ‘Introduction to Buddhism’ - given by a Buddhist monk. The audience was full of people like me who knew little or nothing about Buddhism, and who presumably live a very different life to that of a Buddhist monk.
The monk came in dressed in his robes, sat on a chair at the front, looked around the room calmly, smiled, and then said “Well, I bet you are wondering - ‘Is tonight’s seminar is going to be of any use to me at all, or should I have stayed at home and watched Desperate Housewives instead?’”
He instantly created rapport by using humour, and by talking about something presumably very different to his own ‘world’ but something we could relate to in our ‘world’.
What can you do to create rapport with your audience?
Copyright Successful Speaking 2007