One of the most important ingredients of successful communication is rapport. Whether your communication is with one person or several hundred, to be effective and get the outcome you want, harmonious relationship is essential.

Next time you go to a restaurant, observe the people sitting with each other. Often what you’ll see is people leaning toward one other, smiling, making eye contact and mirroring each other’s movements. They’re in rapport. Friends and lovers do it naturally.

When you’re in front of a group of people, facilitating a workshop or seminar, you want to make friends with them. You want to establish a harmonious relationship from the beginning of the workshop, or even before, to pave the way for the desired outcome. You want people to be receptive and enthusiastic. Part of their responsiveness to your presentation depends on the rapport you establish. They will listen attentively and participate willingly when they trust you.

Teaching others what you know is more than just presenting information. It’s the facilitator’s job to provide a learning environment that is considerate of the learners’ needs and comfort. It’s his job to treat each individual with respect, to listen with intention and to address questions and concerns with interest. This is part of the rapport-building process.

High-tech presentations can be dazzling, but without rapport they can be just so much momentary razzle-dazzle. Plan, prepare and practice a great presentation, always remembering your personal relationship with your participants is essential.

Smile, laugh, listen. Have a good time and they will too. When your participants trust you, they’re having a good time, the environment is pleasant and interesting, the material is good, the presentation is polished and they feel acknowledged, they learn better and remember it longer. And you will enjoy feelings of accomplishment and success.

Author's Bio: 

Jan Noyes is a facilitator, teacher, Neurolinguistic Programmer, and author of two books, How to Create and Present Great Workshops and Hey, Watch Your Language! available at