Nonverbal Cues

Facilitators use nonverbal cues to encourage audience members to speak or to show approval—or disapproval—of a behavior. For example, a smile, sometimes with an extended arm and open palm facing upward (never a pointing finger), is often interpreted by an audience member as an invitation to say something or respond to a question.

Gently nodding your head “yes” (with a smile) is a sign of acknowledgement to an audience member and says in effect, “good answer” or “keep going.” Locking eyes on an audience member who’s displaying distracting behavior can serve as a gentle, respectful reminder that his or her behavior is inappropriate and should stop.

Don’t underestimate the power of these cues. Practice them, remembering that sometimes ...

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