The Techniques Of Getting People’s Attention In The Midst Of Distractions

By Stacey Hanke

Few things conjure up a feeling of dread quite like the anticipation of a lengthy PowerPoint presentation. Professionals spend an average of 40 percent of their workday in meetings, many of which include a presenter painfully reading straight from a slide deck. Seventy-one percent of people report that the meetings they attend are a waste of time. Meeting attendees are so accustomed to this monotonous routine that they come armed with an arsenal of more interesting distractions, most likely on their smartphones, such as text messages, social media and emails.

Presentations aren’t just about sharing data, statistics and facts. They must be passionate, relateable and entertaining. You must influence the audience to act upon what you have to say. Hosting an audience-engaging presentation takes key techniques, discipline and practice. As challenging as it can be, the reward is far greater when audiences walk away remembering and acting upon what you shared.

Here are three techniques for giving an intriguing presentation:

1. Captivate your audience from the start.

The moment you start talking determines your audience’s engagement. Attendees have short attention spans and will quickly check out if they aren’t captivated from the start. The trick to a captivating presentation occurs in the setup and lies in these three steps:

Skip the introduction and purpose. Everyone already knows why they are at the meeting. There is no need to introduce yourself or give the reason you’re there. It’s not the first day of school. We all know who we work with and why we are there.


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