How to Hold Their Attention During a One-To-Many Presentation
When speaking to a group, whether in-person or through various media outlets such as on a DVD, a webinar, infomercial, etc. you need to very early on establish why each viewer or listener should stay tuned in.
Face it. There’s a lot of competition out there. They can decide to check messages or get the latest scores on their smart phones, change the channel, hit the off button. It’s real easy to tune you out or turn you off.
And today, more and more people just have a problem staying focused and paying attention to practically anything for more than a minute or two. Their minds just naturally wander from one thing to the next.
Here are some tactics you can use to grab their interest and hold their attention.
Make three quick promises up front – Tell the audience what you’re going to do for them. And make it three promises just in case one or two of the promises you make doesn’t have all that much appeal to members of the audience.
“I’ll show you how to turn $500 into $5,000 in 90 days or less.”
“Save time and money on simple, do-it-yourself jobs around the house.”
“There’s an easy way to actually enjoy increased popularity, more vitality and energy.”
Use provocative questions and create curiosity – Your promises can be put in the form of questions, or you can use mystery and intrigue to draw people in and get them to sit on the edge of their seats waiting to hear what’s next.
“If you had one wish from a magic genie…?”
“What is your all-time favorite place to visit, and why?”
“If you could do it all over again …?”
Special announcement or breaking news – If you’re doing something live through the web, in front of a crowd, television or radio you may want to use the news angle. But if you tie-in your presentation with a particular national event, don’t assume your audience is aware of it.
Today more and more people don’t keep up with current affairs, even though there are so many more ways to do this. They would rather be hermits and live in a cave as opposed to paying attention to anything that happens outside of their little world. So be careful, because this news angle approach could easily backfire if your audience doesn’t know what you’re referring to.
Warning, threat, danger or potential loss – The specter of impending doom and gloom has a way of grabbing hold of someone and getting them to listen. Fear has a way of shaking people up and forcing them to pay attention.
“The average hospital stay now costs more than …”
“The air pollution in urban areas of China is so bad that …”
“If you don’t exercise a few times a week and watch what you eat …”
Benefit summary statement – Depending on the type of audience you may be talking to, deliver a benefit that will make their lives better or easier. For example, if you’re talking to a teacher’s association you may want to say:
“This new educational technique helps students understand and absorb 90% or more …”
If you’re addressing a sales group:
“I’m going to show you how to never have to cold call again …”
Bribe – Like the promise up front, tell everyone what they are going to get sometime during the course of the presentation. Sure it’s a tease. But it works, especially if what you have to give away isn’t done until near the very end. This is reason enough for some of them to stay tuned in for the entire presentation.
“Reach under your seat and you’ll find a coupon. We’re going to have a drawing sometime during this presentation and the winner will receive …”
Direct, specific instructions – If you want them to stay tuned you sometimes have to pay it off with a specific reason why they shouldn’t tune you out.
“Make sure you have a pencil and paper ready because in the next few minutes I’m going to give you some very important information about …”
“If you want to make big money in the stock market, I’m going to reveal some insider trading secrets you need to know …”
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