"When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy." - Samuel Goldwyn
An audience of your peers can be one of the least responsive ones for whom you will perform. I am just as guilty of that as others. Sometimes the performer does something that inspires me. I'm so busy thinking about the new idea that I forget to applaud. Sometimes I find myself observing and analyzing a performance as an entertainer instead of experiencing and enjoying it as an audience member.
It is important to remember to applaud another entertainer. First, it provides them with encouragement. I have had people tell me after they had performed that they had been nervous about how they were being received until they saw me smiling or applauding. That reassured them that they were doing okay, and they were able to relax. Being relaxed allowed them to do their best job, so I saw a better performance than if I had sat there quietly.
Second, it encourages the other audience members. Applause and laughter are contagious. Be a carrier. If you get it started, other audience members will pick it up and amplify it. Hearing other people laugh and applaud reassures audience members that it is a good show. You reinforce their opinion that it is enjoyable. Therefore, they do enjoy it more.
Psychologists say that emotion often follows action. Acting like you are enjoying a performance by applauding often leads to actually feeling enjoyment. It removes your emotional distance from the show and increases your pleasure.
A performance is not the only time to applaud. When you are in a meeting and the accomplishment or contribution of another person is mentioned, applaud that as well. The appreciation will encourage them to make further contributions. Then all of the members, including you, will receive additional benefits.
Applause is defined as showing approval or commendation, and clapping is just one form of doing that. Another form is to be the person at a meeting who speaks in acknowledgement of contributions made by another.
You can do the same by writing a letter. When Carole and I receive outstanding service from an employee, we don't just thank them. We send a letter to their boss. We have discovered that when we return we get even better service from that same company.
You can do it by writing an article in appreciation of someone else to one of the variety arts magazines. It seems like many articles are written by people who are mainly interested in promoting themselves so one commending somebody else really stands out.
Who do you know that deserves approval, commendation, or encouragement? How can you applaud them? What form will that take?