Do these 3 things and you will never lose your audience

I was asked recently what a speaker can do if he feels he has lost the attention of his audience. But I answered the question this way: “What if I could guarantee you that you will never lose the attention of the audience to begin with?”

These three steps will virtually guarantee that you never lose the attention of the group you are presenting to.

Time: First make certain that your speech is reasonable in length. I recently saw a woman deliver a presentation and I would estimate that about 40% of what she said did not need to be said. Most presenters meander through their content occasionally going off on tangents and bringing up content that is not directly related to their objective. Talking too long and adding extraneous content is a serious mistake.

Most business presentations can be accomplished in six to ten minutes if the speaker limits themselves only to essential content and practices their speech while keeping track of time. Keeping your speech within a reasonable time frame is the first key to never losing the attention of your audience.

Presentation Techniques: There are numerous time tested and research proven techniques that will enable you to hold the attention of your audience. These include stories (i.e. case studies, real life examples), statistics (used sparingly), quotes from well known experts, questions, analogies and lastly metaphors.

Presenting your content using these techniques allows you to take advantage of the way our brains are hard wired to grab and retain information. Your audience will be naturally attracted to your information when it is packaged within these various techniques.

Problems and Goals: There are two presentation objectives that will always hold the attention of your audience. If you can either solve their problems or help them achieve their goals they will listen to every word you have to say. Show Finance how they can reduce cost, show sales how they can increase revenue, show Operations how they can improve process or show your boss how the team can bring the project in under budget.

Highly relevant content that helps the audience improve their situation will keep them locked in on you for your entire presentation.

So rather than worry about how to get their attention back after you’ve lost it, focus instead on making sure you never lose their attention to begin with. Keep your presentation to less than ten minutes, use effective stories and presentation techniques and solve their problems and you can rest assured they they will hang on your every word.

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