How to Make an Audience Listen

Yes, it is a fact that the first thing a trainer must check on his “To do” list is that their presentation is sketched around a catchy subject. After this is settled, all trainers know that the next important steps are building a relation with the audience based on trust and continously nourish it by always being beyond prepared.

All these ingredients seem to create the perfect training recipe, right? But then, after making sure that all is in order, how can you also make sure that the deliverance will not be trapped in a cage of carelessness and distractions?


Ask questions

What could determine somebody to pay attention, if not making him/her engage in a dialogue? Indeed, this technique is now perceived as part of a training and most of the participants are already used to considering the questions rhetorical. And this right here is the difference between a well prepared training and a great one. If you plan on making your training great and catch everybody’s attention, make sure that the questions on the list can be a start point for a dialogue. A dialogue between you and the students or between the students themselves. The fact that the answer might not be the perfect one, or that the talk can be easily derailed, is not a matter of concern. What is really important in these cases is that nobody can ignore a topic as long as he is participating in the conversation.


Use humour

Humour sells! This is a fact. Humour makes people feel more relaxed and closer to each other and during a class it can dilute the tension and make the entire atmosphere more natural. Even though some people might be more reserved when it comes to a fun environment in a teaching class, odds are that the majority will find it catchy. The students will not feel as though they are constantly examined, but that they are in a friendly environment where they can naturally participate in a discussion.


Take breaks

No matter how interesting and intriguing a conversation or a topic is, nobody can pay attention and focus on it for too long. This is why a 10-15 minutes break after each hour is important in order to rewire everybody’s attention. However, psychologists assert that breaks have a stronger impact if they are taken soon after the most important topics are discussed and right before the conclusions are drawn, since the first and the last part of a lesson is what people remember best.


Use a proper body language

Even though a trainer’s tone is important for a proper understanding of the discussed subjects, body language is at least as important as that. This could mean using dynamic gestures to draw attention, walking through the class or simply pointing to the screen or to the charts. Statistics show that 10 minutes is the longest time that someone can pay full attention to a certain topic. So if the audience’s capacity of paying attention is not often shaken by a gesture, a sudden move or a dynamic interaction, their focus will slowly diminish.

There can be many enemies allying against full attention during a class, but there is also a recipe that can mitigate them and lead to a great training. And in order to master it, you just have to use the proper amount of verbal and non-verbal techniques, create a relaxed environment and make sure that everybody engages in a conversation. As long as a trainer will pay attention to this sensitive balane, the overall attention flux will keep his course.

One reply on “How to Make an Audience Listen

  • Duke Vukadinovic

    I think that most public speaking advice focuses on taking center stage. And while this advice is important, it’s secondary to creating an audience-centered presentation.

Comments are closed.