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10 Things Highly Personable People Do Differently

10 Things Highly Personable People Do Differently

Some people are just natural-born “people-magnets,” right? Sure, there could be some truth to that because there is a genetic component to our personalities. But a lot of our social behaviors are learned. And the good news is you can always learn new and better behaviors – it’s never too late! Here are 10 things highly personable people do differently:

1. They listen. And I mean REALLY listen.

I teach communication classes for a living. And one of the things I constantly stress is hearing and listening are not the same thing. Hearing is the physiological process of sound waves hitting your ear drum. But listening is actually an active process (we call it “active listening”). It takes work. You have to pay attention, focus, rephrase, ask questions, and remember information – just for starters. However, being a good listener is about much more than remembering what someone said. Listening is a relationship tool, and highly personable people know this. It gives the other person a message about whether you care or not.

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2. They use verbal feedback.

Highly personable people give verbal cues to express they are listening. They say things like “Wow!” or “that’s really interesting” or “amazing!” Expressions of positive words show other people they are definitely being paid attention to. It makes other people feel important.

3. They show empathy.

Many people confuse empathy with sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for another person, whereas empathy is “putting yourself in another person’s shoes” and really trying to identify with his/her experience. When someone doesn’t show empathy for others, it doesn’t make them feel good. Highly empathetic people show genuine concern for everyone.

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4. They ask questions and encourage others to elaborate.

I’m sure we’ve all come home from work or school and had someone ask us how our day was. And if we reply, “Oh it was fine.” And the other person says, “Cool” and then goes on doing whatever he or she was doing, it doesn’t make us think he or she cared enough to ask more. When people ask us questions and want to hear more about us, we like it.

5. Their body language says they care.

Even if people use verbal feedback and ask questions, if they don’t show they really care, then people won’t believe them. Nonverbal communication accounts for about 90% of the meaning of a message. So keep it positive – have direct eye contact, tilt your head (this is a sign of empathy), and minimize distractions (such as your phone).

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6. They remember things about you.

My dad was a very successful dentist. And do you know why? I’m not sure it had anything to do with his skill in dentistry (although I’m sure it was good). He was successful because people liked him. He always took the time to talk to his patients on a personal level. He asked things like, “How is little Ricky doing in school?” or, “How was your vacation to Hawaii?” In other words, he remembered the details of his patients’ lives. And because he did that, they liked him and kept coming back.

7. They use your name when speaking to you.

Directly acknowledging people makes them feel like real human beings. Anyone who has ever been a server or a bartender in a restaurant knows this. There is a big difference between someone saying “Miss! Can I have another drink?” and “Excuse me, Karen? May I please have a refill on my drink? Thank you!” Using people’s names makes them think they are special in your eyes.

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8. They use touch to convey interest.

Touch can convey many things, but interest and connectedness are two of the big ones. Granted, not everyone is comfortable with touch. But a small and brief touch on the arm or shoulder says “I’m with you.” Highly personable people use this technique, and it usually works.

9. They smile, laugh and talk about positive things.

No one likes to be around a “Debbie Downer.” When someone is always complaining or simply exudes negative energy, most people try to avoid him or her. Personable people find humor in life. They are happy – or at least they give off the impression the are happy. They talk about the good stuff going on in their lives, not the negativity. They keep it happy.

10. They make everyone feel good.

Because highly personable people keep it happy, everyone feels good around them! Unlike the “Debbie Downers,” they exude positive energy and literally draw people to them like a magnet. That kind of energy is like a drug to many people – the more they feel it, the more they want to be around it.

If you see a theme here – you’re right. Highly personable people make others feel good! They make others feel important! They keep it positive and happy! It’s actually pretty simple. So if you know someone who might need to brush up on their people skills, try sharing some of these suggestions with them.

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is a communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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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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