Attention Please

Whether you are making a pitch to a small group, addressing a TEDx style auditorium or trying to engage your work colleagues with some new information, there is a crucial moment that hangs in the air at the start of our interactions. We have an opportunity to grab someone’s attention to set the tone for what you are about to present.

The “Attention Grabber” not only helps your audience to focus on you but it is vital if you are to hold this grip until you are finished.

We are a culture that ‘scans’ – scanning and scrolling for information and entertainment on our device of choice, scanning our environment for danger while driving, even scanning whole conversations waiting for the punchline or allocated actions or just waiting to speak again.

If you want to improve your effectiveness in your communication skills and be noticed, it is up to you to get them to look up from their devices, jolt them out of this scanning state and offer them something to engage with.

Here are 3 Top Tips to Capture and Keep Attention:

Eye-catching Images – Visual cues are powerful. They capture attention and promote thought and creativity. Using a visual representation of an idea is more powerful than any words you can say and more likely to be retained for the long term. I mean, why do any of us have a logo for our business? We need a visual prompt to ensure people will remember us. You can use random images at the start or ones with a story to link back to the purpose of your presentation.

Asking questions –Your audience often comes to you with pre-loaded questions, feelings and thoughts about what is about to happen. By asking questions about what they hope to achieve, why this information is important and most importantly how they might hope to apply the information to improve their purpose is a great way to get them involved and keep them focussed.

Music to energise –You need only look at any street performer to know that to draw a crowd they need to fire up some head turning beats. Music will often jolt people out of their thoughts and zombie-like trance states of behaviour to notice what is happening around them. Use this strategy into your training session or presentations to grab your audience at the start but also to structure the interaction. For example, you may like to schedule in some reflection time, music can be used to promote thought or creativity at this point too.

These are simple strategies to use to engage your audience with the ‘WHY?’ and build value in your ideas. This is well before you launch into the information and detail about your training, idea or product. The benefit is you will improve engagement, uptake and retention of your ideas with your audience.

To learn more about how to capture and keep attention with your audience to improve the effectiveness of your communication skills, please contact us at Human Interactions Australia – info@humaninteractions.com.au

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