If you want to be seen as the most likable person in the room … and you do, there are times you’ll need to stand-up in order to stand-out. Here are a few ideas that will help you help the group and the people in your group feel good about themselves without drawing attention to yourself.
Parking At The Atlanta Airport
In the early days of my public speaking career I gave approximately 100 speeches a year and none of them were in my home town of Atlanta. Virtually every speaking engagement required a trip to the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport where I parked my car on a lot the size of New Jersey.
I credit the airport authority for doing their very best to help me find my car upon returning to Atlanta, but even with all of their help, I usually could have walked home in the time I located my car, and I lived 35 miles from the airport.
What Am I Going To Do?
After hearing me complain about this frustrating problem, my children decided to invest in an Airport Car Identification and Retrieval Device (ACIRD), otherwise know as a Jack-In-The-Box antenna ball. So one afternoon before yet another trip, they walked me to my car and attached Jack to my radio antenna and hugged me goodbye.
This trip was different. Upon my return to the Atlanta airport, I looked up over the sea of cars and there, off in the distance was Jack waving his bright white head yelling, “Over here! Here I am! Over here! Look over here!” My days of endlessly searching for my car in frustration were over, at least that’s what I thought.
It wasn’t long before every weary traveler in Atlanta discovered my trick. Within weeks I noticed hundreds of Jack balls all standing above the sea of cars yelling, “Over here! Here I am! Over here! Look over here!” With all the distractions, finding my car was harder than ever.
I told my children how everyone at the airport had discovered their great idea and asked them to think of another solution. The next day after school I found them decorating my Jack ball with florescent yellow paint and a few personal touches that no one else dare imitate. (It’s amazing what two preteen boys will come up with when they’re mother isn’t looking.)
Problem solved. Now with hundreds of Jack balls yelling, “Over here! Here I am! Over here! Look over here!” My new and improved “Jackie” ball stood out beckoning me with her soft voice, “Hey sailor! Did you miss me?”
Helping people feel good about the group they belong to is no different than helping an individual feel good about himself or herself. It makes little difference if the group is your daughters softball team, a staff meeting at work or the gathering of Nobel Laureates in Physics. Everyone wants to feel good about himself or herself and the people they associate with.
The only real difference in helping people feel good in a group setting is the fact that you’re doing it in a public forum. You must be willing to stand-up and assert your likability in an environment that terrifies most everyone else, and do it without calling attention to yourself.
Here are a few ideas as to how you can do just that.
- If you get and opportunity to speak, start by complimenting the group and be specific. Not only will the group appreciate your compliment, they will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say next.
- Pay attention to what’s going on in the meeting and actively look for observational humor opportunities. It’s very easy to do and everyone enjoys having their spirits elevated … especially the person who prompted the humor. If you want to learn more about observational humor, visit John Kinde’s Humor Site.
- Take on the role of host or hostess to the greatest extent you can in every group setting. In doing so, you will not only be an asset to the person responsible for the meeting, but you will be winning people over by helping them feel safe and welcome.
Don’t wait and don’t be shy when it comes to helping the group and the people in that group feel good about themselves, and don’t be surprised when others take notice and attempt to imitate your behavior. Be the Jack Antenna Ball that stands-up, stands-out and does something to demonstrate why you’re the most likable person in the room. It’s as easy as making the group feel special … Hey Sailor! Did you miss me?