How do you hold attention?
The reality is that you don't hold attention for long. The best you can probably do is to capture the attention of your audience from time to time.
If you think that everyone is paying attention to everything you say - you are deluding yourself. When you present you are competing with everything else going on in each individual's brain. Everyone's brain operates much faster than you can speak which means that their brain gets bored and searches for something else to think about.
Not only are you competing with the super computing power of the human brain - people today have shorter attention spans than just a few years ago. That's due to the speed of technology, pace of life and barrage of incoming messages in many formats.
What can you do?
Include spaced changes during your presentation. The changes recapture the attention of your audience.
What kind of changes?
- Change your voice. Speak in a higher or deeper tone.
- Change the pace. Speak faster or slower.
- Change the cadence by varying your speaking rhythm.
- Change the sentence structure from statements to posing a question.
- Change your body position by shifting your stance or taking a couple steps.
- Change your body language by making a gesture with your hands.
- Change the focus of attention by using a visual prop.
- Change the speaker by engaging a listener to ask a question or make a comment.
- Change the state of your listeners by making them laugh, take notes or respond.
PS: tell me how this tip helps you.
PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.
"All of your tips are proving very useful George. The "thanks" are mine."
Sr.Vice President Global Relations & Chief Standards Officer
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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.