“It’s one thing to keep a crowd engaged for two minutes, but two hours—or more—requires a different set of techniques,” says communications coach Carmine Gallo in BusinessWeek.
Thanks to texting and tweeting, people have shorter attention spans. So if you’re preparing a PowerPoint presentation, remember Gallo’s rules for keeping an audience captivated:
1. Strike a visual-verbal balance. If you create a slide that’s heavy on data, follow it with a visual slide with little, if any, text.
Better yet, follow it with a slide that shows only an image. It forces the audience to shift its focus to the speaker and gives their eyes a break.
2. Organize in 10-minute intervals. That’s how frequently minds wander during a presentation. Insert video clips, put up a question, engage them in an activity where they have to think and write.
3. Don’t scrimp on food. A hungry audience is a distracted audience.
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