Ever wondered what it takes to auction off a priceless Picasso or a rare Egyptian artifact? The key to success is one word: connection.
Great auctioneers “connect more spontaneously with bidders,” says Jamie Krass, director of auctions at Christie’s in New York.
“You want to make everyone comfortable,” he says in. “Build a relationship with me. Don’t make me feel like a number.”
That just one bit of sage communication skills advice from an article about how to become an auctioneer posted on Careerjournal.com.
Of course, the same is true whever you’re trying to make a pitch. Just like a great auctioneer, you want to speak in a personal, animated way, like you’re having an intense conversation with a friend.
That connection is what separates the great auctioneers from the rest, says Krass. “It’s not just about eye contact. To make the bidder go one more, you have to convey that you know his bid matters to him, and that it matters to you too.”
If you want to connect well during your business presentations, one key is to think of your presentation as a series of “mini-conversations” with your listeners.
Look at a single audience member and chat with her for about eight seconds. Then randomly move to another audience member until you’ve made eye contact with everyone in the room. Then make the rounds again.
That way, everyone will feel that you’ve connected with them personally.
Do that well enough and you’ll be the kind of communicator that, like a great auctioneer, always makes the sale.