Sunday, June 24, 2012

How to Get, Keep & Manage Attention

Great speaking, teaching, training and presenting is strongly influenced by great attention management. The best content in the world can be missed by even by the best audience members if attention is not managed properly. The following four keys should play a major role in each of your presentations. When you implement these strategies, make sure you mix it up and add variety in how you use each.

1. Intellectual Engagement - Any great presentation gets people thinking in a new, fresh, and unique way. This is the meat of the talk and you have to have it, but to really engage the brain you have to give new information, tell a unique story, package the info simply and creatively, etc.

2. Emotional Engagement - This is the Ying to the Yang of intellectual engagement. People are driven by and pulled around by emotions. If there is no heart or humor in your presentation, you are missing a key engagement tool. So, get them laughing or tell a heart-felt story. Get the human element in your presentation, even if you are delivering dry, serious content.

3. Physical Engagement - All physical movement, from high-impact ropes courses to a simple knuckles bump, creates a boost in energy. Leverage this simple principle and include an appropriate amount of physical movement in your presentation. For more content heavy presentations, this movement could include: giving a high-five to a partner, turning your chairs forward, standing up and switching partners, standing up and interacting with others, etc.

4. Social Engagement - This is one of the easiest techniques to pull off and yet so many speakers do not use it. Get the audience interacting with each other. This could be as simple as, "Turn to a partner and teach them the lesson you just learned using your own words." If all the audience is doing for 30/45/60 minutes is just listening to you, you are not effectively managing their valuable attention resource.

No comments: