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10 Ways to Become More Approachable

10 Ways to Become More Approachable

It’s important to make an effort to be approachable for a number of reasons – including the fact that it will help us have a successful career, be more likable and help people feel comfortable around us. In short, life is easier and more fun when we are welcoming and approachable. With that in mind, it makes sense to become more conscious and aware of ways to make people feel at ease around us.

This process is a long but worthwhile journey, but here are some ways to get started. 10 ways to become more approachable:

1. Make eye contact and smile.

According to SocialPro, smiling all the time can come off as insincere or be subconsciously picked up as covering up nervousness – instead, they suggest making a concerted effort to smile when:

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  • You’ve just met a new person.
  • Whenever the other person is smiling.
  • They are telling a joke, or the story they’re telling indicates something amusing.
  • When you’re about to take off.
  • Making eye contact makes other people way more likely to approach you.

2. Use open body posture.

WikiHow suggests that an open body posture is one of the ultimate ways to seem more approachable to other people and make them feel comfortable. If you’re not quite clear on what that looks like, be intentional about:

  • Keeping your shoulders up and not slouching.
  • Leaning back slightly when sitting.
  • Have your hands down and at your side, avoiding crossed arms or putting your hands in your pockets.

3. Put away things that cover your face or distractions like your phone.

Being on your phone or covering up your face, whether it be with a hat or with your hands, sends an instinctive message to people that could consider talking with you. It might be comforting to always be on your phone, but it won’t make you more approachable.

4. Take a deep interest in things that other people are into.

In situations like a workplace, taking a strong interest in the types of hobbies people enjoy or what they did this weekend, makes it more likely that people will open up to you, and consider you their friend. It’s just the nature of our minds that we start to enjoy the company of someone who listens. If you make a concerted effort to listen and bring up things someone has said they were interested in before, they will naturally gravitate towards you.

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5. Ask 3 Questions for every one statement about yourself that you make.

An easy way to try to remember to listen more is to ask 3 questions before talking about something you’re very into.

  • Don’t only talk about the other person – just make an effort to let the conversation be about what they are into more often.
  • When you do get a chance to talk about something you’re passionate about, be sure to not dominate the conversation but find creative ways to work the other person into the conversation and pivot back to their subjects.

6. Try new things like traveling to different areas or countries.

According to France Student Travel, “nothing breaks people out of a certain kind of small thinking and closed off behavior like getting out and seeing other cultures.”

It’s hard to deny that whether you’re from Texas and get a chance to go to California or you’re able to take a class trip to France, immersing yourself fully in a different culture is an incredible way to become more open and welcoming to different points of view.

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7. Make an effort to attempt one new activity you haven’t tried every month.

Besides traveling – become a tourist in your own city and have new and exciting things to talk about with the people you meet by challenging yourself to try one new activity for every 30 day period. It doesn’t have to be skydiving! Visit a new apple orchard, walk around the whole city, or hit up that super iconic area that you just haven’t got to yet even though out-of-towners love it.

8. Try to see things from an outside perspective and study other cultures viewpoints.

New ways of life, philosophies, and points of view are less scary when we really take the time to read up on them, watch documentaries and put ourselves out there and are welcoming to people who espouse these ideas. If we make an effort to welcome new cultural viewpoints, we make ourselves significantly more approachable on the outside too – people can sense if you are open to new ideas and ways of life.

9. Expect new people to find you and want to start conversations.

“The biggest thing we can do to help people feel comfortable around us – is to truly be comfortable with ourselves,” says Spenser Baldwin of Omaha SEO.

By expecting that people will want to talk to us, and allowing ourselves that confidence we start to mentally prepare and make our whole approach more accommodating for others.

10.Become very self-aware and ask people close to you what you’re strengths and weaknesses are.

By liking yourself more, and knowing your strengths, you make people feel comfortable being around you because being self-aware puts you more at ease. Knowing your weaknesses is important too – if we know that ‘not asking questions’ or having a closed off body posture is a weakness of ours, we can make an effort to correct it.

Always focus more on your strengths, but don’t be blind to what you can do better on, and think of those things as an opportunity to sharpen your skills of making other people more comfortable.

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Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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