Experts claim that 100 years ago, the average attention span was 20 minutes. Today, it’s about 9 seconds, the same attention span of a goldfish.
While I’m not sure that attention spans are actually shorter in today’s world, I do know all of us are being pushed and pulled into more directions at the same time unlike ever before. As such, it’s never been more important to immediately capture the attention of your audience.
When speaking or creating content, here are 10 very effective ways to do just that.
Let’s say the topic of your speech, presentation or livestream is “The Power of Communication”
You can start with…
1. A quote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
2. A statistic: “The next time you deliver a speech, keep in mind that 90% of what you’re about to say will be forgotten within 60 minutes.”
3. A question: “Do you know what the biggest communication challenge is in today’s noisy and busy world? It’s probably not what you think!”
4. A current new item: “Becoming an effective communicator got me on CNN last night to discuss the Presidential election. During the show, you all saw what happened. I think it just might change the world. Would you like to know the communication steps I did to get the invite?”
5. A story that relates directly to your message: “I watched opposing counsel give his closing argument. He stumbled through the whole thing. It was a mess. Using 4 of the tips that I’ll be sharing with you today, I stood, walked over to the jury, and gave a closing argument that resulted in a multi-million dollar verdict. Want to know what those 4 steps are?”
6. A sincere thank you or acknowledgment: “Rotary International is truly one of the top community service organizations in the world. I’d like to thank Bob Smith for including me in the event and sharing several communication tips with you.”
7. Have them write something down: “There are five steps that exceptional communicators use to share their message. Grab a pen and paper because you’ll want to write them down.”
8. Humor: “The mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the minute you are born and never stops until you get up to speak in public.”
9. Make a prediction: “By the time we finish this presentation, I predict that you will increase your ability to persuade others by 25 to 50%.
10. A poem or rhyme:
“Communication is the key, but my hands are shaking as I start the ignition. How many of you feel this way every time you stand to deliver a speech or presentation?”
If you found these ten tips useful, please share with your audience.
I’ve updated this post to share my new book, “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Business Owners, Professionals and Entrepreneurs.” The third section of the book shares communication tips, just like this post, from 15+ top communication experts on the planet. You can use this information to create compelling new content for social media or, offline to persuade your audience to take action when speaking on stage or giving a closing argument in trial 😉