You’ve probably received a Bobblehead while attending a ballgame for your local minor league baseball team. Maybe you picked one up at the gift shop of some museum. Bobbleheads are a caricature of some person, their features exaggerated and their miniature body striking some fantastic pose. They almost always have a large smile. Unsurprisingly, their heads swing back and forth, rocking in a repetitive motion.
When I’m in an audience of any size and a speaker is front of the group, I always make sure to be a Bobblehead. I try to act as an anchor for that speaker by nodding my head throughout their presentation, indicating that I’m engaged by their content and delivery. Speaking in front of a group is hard - it’s even harder when there’s no feedback mechanism for positive reinforcement, which by default implies to the speaker that they aren’t performing well. An audience member that engages via eye contact, a disarming smile, and an encouraging head nod will always be welcomed.
We should look for the bobbleheads in our lives - the people who will cheer us on as we venture into uncharted waters. We need the reinforcement to continue on, to let us know that someone is engaged with & rooting for us. We will, at some point, all be that speaker in front of the audience.