When the audience wants to text, how do you get them to listen?

As the communicator connected with the audience, every single person in the audience perched on the edge of her seat.

The speaker made points with authority. He was confident and the audience took an emotional joyride through the many stories, anecdotes, experiences. The audience quickly jotted down key points to remember. The nearly indecipherable pen on paper scribbles happened so fast because the next magnificent great idea was seconds away.

What's there to do when your audience moves from you to the small screen?

No one looked at his/her watch, cell phones, iPads. Time froze. The audience didn’t want this journey to end.

A presenter’s dream, right? A noble, yet challenging goal to shoot for in today’s world.

Sadly, this scene is a rarity today.

Presenters compete with technology and waning attention spans when faced with communicating a message.

Recently, I attended a presentation with about 100 people in the audience. 20 out of the 100 people were ‘zoned’ into their smartphone instead of listening to the presentation. This wasn’t a one second glance at a device, but a committed engagement to ignore the speaker and the message.

So, Naden’s Corner readers?

We can’t force audience members to turn in and/or shut off all digital devices; there might be a revolt.

  • But what can we do when you are speaking to get the focus off the device and onto you and the message?
  • How do you command the audience when speaking?
  • Can you incorporate new technology challenges into the presentation? (if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em)

I want to hear from you. Use the comment box below and speak your mind.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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