Let's stack the deck even further to your advantage. There's a clear cut hierarchy of physical environments that are more conducive to good listening. And less conducive. The best is always going to be one on one in the same room to people sitting down, no desk, no table, nothing in between them. And they can just look at each other and you can really look and listen to that person, that's always going to be the best situation. The next best a group of people, you perhaps have a boss, a colleague and associate speaking other people are in the room, but you can clearly see the person here the person or not a lot of other things distracting.
Then it starts going down quickly. I would put a Skype video zoom a live webinar where you can actually see someone's face as the next day. Best thing certainly had of just a telephone call. Then there's a telephone call. last on the list is probably an email or for millennials a voicemail since young people don't like to listen to voice mail. So always try to do everything you can to increase your odds.
Here's one technique I do, you're going to call this nerdy and weird but anytime I have to go to a meeting, a conference where there's a speaker, a presenter, I try to go sit on the front row. Typically, unless you're at a rock concert, the front row is the last place most people sit. They're expecting the speaker to be boring. So they want to sit in the background so they can multitask and check email and leave early. If you really want to listen and show the person who's speaking, ultimate respect. Sit on the front row.
This one You're not tempted to pull out your cell phone because the person standing right there and they can see you being rude. Now, I admit I one of the worst when it comes to being at a conference, a speaker, I don't deem it critically important to my business, and I'm pulling out my cell phone. So I want to offer you full disclosure, I'm guilty of this too. But when you are in a room where your own boss is speaking your own client, someone influential to your career, don't do that. I certainly don't do that when I'm meeting with a client or a customer or a prospect. Now, let's turn the tables a little.
You're the ones speaking and you want people to listen to you. Get rid of the tables, take that table, throw it away. Most of what I do in my day job is I fly all over the world and I conduct public speaking communication skills and media training workshops for groups of people, executives. leaders, government leaders all over the world. Invariably, I'm taken to a training room. And there are tables and things are set up in rows.
First thing I do, I get rid of all the tables. I arrange the room so that everyone has a front row. So even if they're 50 people, it's a gigantic semicircle. What does this do? It forces people to kind of have a front row seat. It's easier for them to pay attention and to listen to me.
And it's so much harder to be distracted by pulling out their cell phones because they know I can see them. I can see them, I'm likely to walk over not be rude and take it out of their hand. But ask them a question. Connect with them to try to get their attention back. So that's something you can do if you're trying to increase your odds of people listening to you. But again, when you're just listening to Someone try to get the best seat in the room.
And that's typically the one nobody else wants. Right in the middle in the front