#54 A platform master engages or loses the battle for attention retention (Part 2)
In the last episode, we started a conversation about engagement – one of the eight ‘constant factors’ of platform presence. We are building on a principle first identified by Sun Tzu in his classic writings, The Art of War.
We’ve also been listening in on the Foundations of Mastery Two Day Workshop I ran late 2016, here in Auckland New Zealand. Today, I want to take us a little deeper into what it means to engage an audience, like a platform master.
As I said in the last episode, engagement starts 30 seconds before you open your mouth. You observe your audience, the environment, the feeling in the air. You become aware of the rook, the people, how long they’ve been sitting.
I like to take a step or two towards my audience. Connect with one or two people, eye-to-eye. Have a brief conversation with them, before moving on to someone else.
Then do something that ‘Activates’ attention. I use the word ‘Imagine’ to help activate my audience. I want them to see themselves in the illustration or story I am sharing. All of this is within the first 30 seconds.
An engaging speaker uses language that appeals to the senses. Don’t try and sound smart… have a conversation. Storytelling is a powerful way to get into a topic because we are hard-wired to absorb information through storytelling. Tell a good story and you’ll get neck-down attention.
If you want a short insight into the principles of engagement are, check out Episode #2. Of course, the style of the podcast has changed since then… but you’ll get a succinct, clear picture of what it takes to be an engaging speaker.
Here’s the action point of the day:
Engagement requires ‘change up’. Let me explain what I mean. There is a 10-minute limit to the average attention span. If you keep doing the same thing for more than 10 minutes, you run the risk of your audience ‘day-dreaming’ – which means… losing engagement. So, build ‘change’ into your message – like movement, speaking style or a visual effect.
Find more than one way to get your message from inside you to inside your audience.
There’s more to come.