After interviewing more than 80 speakers, I found that after passion and authenticity, one of the most often mentioned public speaking super powers was reading a room.
What does that mean?
It means that you are in tune with and aware of your audience. It means that you know when they are paying attention and when they are starting to drift away. I means you know when they need a boost of enthusiasm and when they need you to pause.
It also means you know when they are getting what you’re saying and when you’ve lost them.
Depending on who you talk to, the power to read a room is something you can learn or something that is intrinsic to who you are. It has been described as something you can research with pre-event surveys and as something that you can only do when you are there and experiencing the energy of the room.
Whatever the power to read a room is, developing it is an important part of becoming a successful public speaker. For when you can read a room, you can make sure your message is delivered effectively to the people who are there listening to you. You can tailor your presentation to the needs of the audience you are currently presenting to. You can better deliver your message.