How to Attract Audience’s Attention During the Speech

By  //  January 26, 2022

You have diligently prepared for your presentation, studied many sources, written out talking points, and made a presentation. You are confident that you will capture your listeners’ attention by the end of the lecture.

Reality: 20 minutes into the lecture, you notice that someone has begun to yawn, another is absorbed by his phone, the third is staring out the window. In the hall, there are conversations and hum. The situation is not pleasant. What to do?

Ask questions.

Lively conversation, reasoning out loud, and discussing questions together are techniques that will help keep your audience interested and engaged in the learning process. Present facts, ask for opinions, raise doubts, and work with the audience to reach conclusions.

Refer to authoritative sources.

To gain the audience’s trust and captivate their story, cite popular publications, the statements of famous people, and the work of scientists. In this way, you will strengthen your message.

Design each presentation with the context in mind.

Preparing a text in advance helps avoid stuttering, long silences, repetitions, awkward situations. You’ll stay on topic and feel more confident. Find out what kind of audience you will be speaking in front of, how much they know about the topic and their attitudes. During the lecture, be sure to address the audience as “dear friends,” “respected colleagues.

Use vocal tricks.

Monotonous speech is boring, and fast speech will be incomprehensible to many. Watch how you speak. Pause for a moment to emphasize the words, lower or raise your voice tone when you have something important to say.

Use real-life examples.

Simple examples from life proverbs can make any complex subject more understandable. Liven up your presentation with a literary story to keep people’s attention.

Being able to tell an engaging story and capture the listener’s attention is a learning curve. How you structure information, communicate with the audience, and how confident you feel on stage determine the outcome of the entire speech.

Humor is the key to a successful speech.
You should not joke about a particular person in the hall, making fun of some of his qualities; it’s better to use self-irony. You can poke fun at yourself or the organization you represent. The audience should only be praised if you want to make friends with them.

Once, I had to speak in front of the street culture and sports contest winners. I had several speakers in front of me who used a formal, business-like style of speech.

After the first few minutes, the audience got bored. I wondered for a long time where to begin my speech. We were in an operetta theater. Then I got the idea to start with the following words: “After getting to know the audience, we can safely rename the building into an operetta and parkour theater. The kids laughed and listened with interest to my presentation.

You can start with humor to get attention or use it in the middle of the speech when you feel that the audience is tired, and also, in the end, you are sure to be remembered. If you speak alone and have the opportunity to move around the stage, try to move a lot and not cling to a chair or table, so you can revitalize your story and attract the attention of the audience. 

It’s important to understand what kind of audience you have in front of you to speak their language. 

This is especially true when speaking in regions new to you, national republics. Suppose you are speaking, for example, in Minnesota or Texas. In that case, you can mention a well-known local figure telling a mythological story that the audience does not expect to hear from you, and it will help capture people’s attention and arouse their respect. 

Don’t use complicated terms words; try to speak the same language with the audience. 

For example, I always explain what the term means when I talk about soft skills. Simplify your speech to make it accessible to the audience. Believe me, and no one will think you are too incompetent and straightforward. It will be worse if you give the impression of a too abstruse person. Try to decipher any concept, but do so so that the explanation does not look like you teach the audience. In this sense, the modesty of the expert is important, and you should not be in the role of the speaker who brought the truth in the last resort. 

Be sincere and open to the audience, tell a personal story, give an example from life. 

We recently had a school class, and I started my presentation with school memories. If you don’t have a suitable personal story, hook the audience with interesting facts or coincidences. It’s essential to balance 2-3 stories in an hour-long presentation; that will be enough. If you are not good at storytelling, you can ask the writing helper to prepare a short thesis statement to help you orient yourself and reduce the excitement of potential improvising. 

Let the audience know that you watch your timing and do not abuse their time. 

You can do this in the following ways: talk through the outline of your talk, note in the middle of your talk that there are 20 minutes left or you are at the equator of your presentation, and at the end, say the phrase, “At the end of the talk I want to…”. 

All of the tips will be difficult for you to fit into one presentation; try different combinations. You can record your presentation on the video to record mistakes and work on them. The main thing is to practice and hone your skill constantly.