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Will The Audience Like Me?


Its the first negative thought many speakers have before they give a presentation, what happens if the audience don’t like me? If they just sit there with their arms folded, motionless, emotionless, with a bored look on their face, rolling their eyes to heaven, constantly checking their phones, they just don’t like me!

Its a common fear that can be conquered with proper training.

Am I likeable?

Some people are naturally likeable, they display all the characteristics of the like-ability Factor, people gravitate towards them when they walk into a room, they make friends easily and they stand out like the little girl in the red jacket in the black and white Schindler’s list. So what are the behaviours that impact likability?


Confidence,     Authenticity,     Enthusiasm,     Being in the Present,     Good Manners,        Kind.



A sincere smile conveys authenticity. A real smile, that comes from the inside – out, has the ability to convey excitement, pleasure, happiness, caring, understanding, humour, welcome and friendship. When people share a smile with each other they make an instant connection. When you smile and your audience returns the smile, Bingo! you have connected.

Be In The Present.

We have so many distractions in our lives, mobile phones, iPads, random negative thoughts racing through our brains, hence we find it very difficult to concentrate. You need to practice “Focus”. You must focus on the person in front of you, listen to their every word, show that you are listening, and you are interested in their story. You must develop self discipline to delete the distractions and focus on the present.

Be Nice.

The best phrase I ever learned in college was, “Its nice to be important but its more important to be nice”. A sincere compliment about a person’s achievement or possession will make them feel important, valued and acknowledged. But you must train yourself to be interested, focused and observant of others. Only then will you be able to deliver a sincere and authentic compliment.

Good Manners.

There are so many impolite people in the world these days, it makes it very easy to stand out from the crowd by displaying good manners. Nobody likes a rude person. Bad manners are an instant turn off. But when you display good manners you will make a huge impression. It doesn’t cost anything to be polite and remember, first impressions, are the most important and last the longest.

Be Confident.

If you believe in yourself, believe in your presentation content, believe in your knowledge, people will believe in you. When you speak with a positive attitude, passion and confidence about a subject, your audience will believe in you. We like confident people, we like to be associated with confident people, because confident people look successful, and we crave success. You can choose to be more confident by investing in yourself, your mind, body and spirit. Research has proven that people who continue to invest in their own personal well being are more motivated, more confident and more likeable to their peers. You can choose to invest in yourself to be more likeable, to be more confident, to be more of YOU.

The next time you fear, an audience won’t like you, remember, they are all looking up at you thinking ……

………“I wish I was as brave, to be able to stand up there and present with confidence, compassion, and clarity. I like that presenter!”… “Respect!”…..




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“Alan Shortt knows his stuff and through his intensive preparation in advance of our session, Alan helped me understand how I really perform from an audience point of view. He provided very effective coaching and tips which I’ am looking forward to using in the future. I feel much more confident.”

About Alan Shortt

Alan Shortt has been working in radio and television in Ireland for the last twenty years, gaining wide experience from both behind and in front of the camera.

He has worked as a presenter, performer, producer, and is currently a regular Contributor on RTE Radio/TV and BBC Radio Ulster. As a live performer he has also learnt first hand, how to face the fear of standing up to speak in front of a live audience. This is where the concept of Media Skills Ireland was born.

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