I’ve attended a talk about tricks we can adopt in order to engage other people and having a focused audience. Considering that having the attention of colleagues or other stakeholders is fundamental in any jobs, I was very interested in listening to the presenter. He was talking and I was listening. As the presentation continued, I started becoming too “familiar” with the concepts that he was explaining. The tricks and the examples used resonated too familiar. How? Why? The presentation was very similar to one that I’ve listened to almost 5 years ago. Fine with it. Being original is not always easy (well, hard to say which of the two presentations was inspired by the other).
Among the tricks presented in order to keep the attention of your audience, he suggested swearing. The reason? You catch the attention of the audience and you break the status quo. Let’s say that the goal is understandable, particularly if it is a lengthy presentation; however, in my opinion, it is not the way. The focus falls naturally. There are several work psychology studies that measure the so-called attention span; on average, our attention span ranges between 45 minutes and 75 minutes. As said, after 5 years, I still do not agree with swearing just to keep the audience focused. Call me old fashioned on this; however, I prefer techniques that are more intelligent, simple and refined. If you are not presenting exciting subjects, use images, examples or ask questions to the audience. Do not forget to create an interactive environment.