Man yawning

Leave the Resting Listening Face Behind: Be a CAP

Nov 30, 2022

Typically we dish out advice on how to be a better presenter, networker, and overall communicator.  But not today.  Today we are focused on all of you, audience members, who sit through numerous presentations each week, month, and year.   It can be a lot, we get it, but if you can commit to being a contributing audience participant (CAP) at least 80% of the time you will get so much more out of the time you spend and you will actually help the presenter be a better presenter.  The presenter can focus on their material and delivery rather than spending precious mental capacity thinking “omg, they hate me”.  Plus if we all commit to being a CAP, when it’s your turn to present, the courtesy will be returned. See how that works?

 How to be a CAP:

  • Be Present ~ Wrap up what you are working on 5 - 15 minutes before the start of the event to give yourself a short brain break and some time to refocus.
  • Be Fashionably Early ~ arriving before the start of the presentation is professional courtesy showing respect to the presenter and other participants.
  • Actively Participate (presentations should be a duet, not an aria)
    • Virtual
      • Show up with your camera on and keep it on
      • Smile and gesture
      • Engage in the chat conversation
      • Volunteer, answer questions and ask questions (when appropriate)
    • Live
      • Sit near the front
      • Smile and gesture
      • Volunteer, answer questions, ask questions (when appropriate)
      • Ideally take notes on paper, but If taking notes on a mobile device or laptop make sure your face isn’t stuck in your tech the entire time.
  • Set A Goal ~ Set an intention of what you want to get out of the session.  If you are going to carve out time to attend you owe it to yourself to attend with intention. 

Presenting is challenging enough without the audience showing up with resting listening face, cameras off, 'just listening', and not participating.  You know, you’ve been there.   Be the change, start the trend, be the CAP!

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