Power Presentations: Hold Attention

Hold the attention of your listeners

First be aware that you will never hold 100% of everyone’s attention. It is extremely difficult to hold 100% of the attention even when you are talking to one person. Because our brain processes information much faster than you can speak – we will often be starving for input. When we don’t receive enough input we daydream. So forget about holding the attention 100% of the time. Instead focus on grabbing their attention back. Sprinkle your presentation with attention grabbing techniques – especially just before the important parts.

How to grab attention

The first key to grabbing attention is “changes”. Change helps to fight boredom. Other keys are relevance and being real.

  • Change your pace of speaking – faster or slower
  • Deepen your voice
  • Change your posture
  • Ask a rhetorical question
  • Ask a question of the audience
  • Make a bold statement
  • Say “This is important.”
  • Use the word “you”
  • Do or say something unexpected
  • Tell a personal story
  • Admit a personal flaw or failure
  • Make them laugh
  • Issue a warning or reveal an unnoticed threat
  • Pause, look at the audience and smile
  • Speak to their specific needs and circumstance
  • Use the name of the group or individual audience members
George Torok
The Speech Coach for Executives

The above is an excerpt from "Secrets of Power Presentations" by Peter Urs Bender.
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