“The average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight secondsnow. That is less than the nine-second attention span of your average goldfish”, BBC news reveals.
That means you only have a few minutes to engage with your audience after which they’ll lose interest and start doing other things.
Every time you stand before an audience to speak to them, know that you are competing against lots of distractions. So, if you go straight to the point the better, but if you beat around the bush, your audience is likely to lose interest. Below are five strategies that you can implement to keep your audience engaged when speaking.
1. 1) Be Vulnerable
People tend to get hooked into a discussion when you introduce a story that breaks down the complex idea in a better way. Honestly, you are dealing with human beings and they need to feel like you’re one of them.
Introduce a catchy personal story and use it to explain a complex point that your readers would only best understand if you incorporate a story. People will always remember technical points using the stories you used for your illustrations.
Additionally, people will love to connect with someone they view as human. When they connect with you, they will build trust and become your loyal followers. Isn’t that what you want?
2. 2) Tell Jokes Sparingly
It’s no secret that the average attention span of human beings is continuously going down and down. But, why is it that other speakers are able to keep their audience attentive throughout their sessions? Well, it’s no miracle and they are not alchemists either.
The truth is that speakers who are able to contain their audience for that long have a skill you may be lacking – telling jokes. Look, humans love to be entertained. They want someone who can keep them alive as they digest whatever you are saying. Feel free to check out Beautiful.AI’s sample presentationsif you still need more.
3. 3) Captivate Your Audience
Speech coach Steve Siebold, founder of the Bill Gove Speech Workshop, said, “Make a point, then tell a story.” Yes, the “story” point is not repeated. This time around, you use stories to explain technical points that your audience couldn’t have understood without the help of the story. Actually, you don’t have to use your personal story. Try using even a stat story that you think your audience may not be aware about.
4. 4) Create Handouts If Need Be
Even though the world is going digital, there are still some things we have to go the traditional way. Humans best understand written documents than just said points. That’s why students in class have to take short notes during lectures. If they could be able to remember everything without writing, then there would be no need to have papers. You can help your audience by creating them handoutsso that they go through them as you give your speech.
5. 5) Encourage Interaction
Ever wished for a lively audience? It’s you to decide whether or not you want a lively audience. It’s that simple. All you need to do is to encourage your audience to ask and answer questions. This way, they’ll stay alive throughout the session.
6. Bottom Line
Keeping your audience active isn’t that difficult. Just follow the above hacks and you will keep your audience alive throughout the session.