August, 2017. The USS John McCain collides with a tanker near Singapore, resulting in the tragic loss of 10 lives and $223 million. The crew members in charge didn’t notice the other ship in time, and take appropriate action. They weren’t paying attention.
As the world gets more complex and choices expand, it becomes ever more challenging to focus on one thing at a time. This is a hurdle every speaker must overcome. At Eloqui we say “Attention precedes comprehension” meaning that if you fail to excite the interest of the audience, they won’t care and more importantly, they won’t remember your message.
To make sure your audience pays attention, use a variety of openings, closes, and stories during your presentations. Make your PowerPoint mostly visual. And use a combination of high and low tech. Go from PowerPoint to a white board and sketch an idea. Use a prop in the middle of your presentation. Then ask for a hand-count or vote from audience members. Stay in the spotlight and own the room.