How to Grab Your Audience’s Attention and Never Let Go


Let’s face it — grabbing an audience’s attention is a challenge these days. Study after study shows people have smaller attention spans today than they did 20 years ago. According to the numbers, the average person’s attention span lasts a measly eight seconds, a full second behind the infamously forgetful goldfish.

Most people point the finger at the Internet and social media. After all, you can hop from article to text to video with a tap of a finger, moving fast enough between content to never feel bored.

This media multitasking takes a sledgehammer to your ability to sit through a presentation without distractions. But what about when you’re on the stage? As the person delivering a presentation, you might have to compete with phones as audience members peek at their devices.

It can be frustrating to put all this effort into your PowerPoint only to feel as though you’re being ignored. To help you feel heard, try out these presentation tips.

Know Your Audience

According to a preeminent PowerPoint presentation designer, there are four different types of audiences.

  1. Friendly: Top of the list for a reason, this audience is the best kind because they’re friendly and engaged. While they may be more receptive to your ideas, don’t phone it in — you still have to make your case.
  2. Apathetic: In a step down from friendly, the apathetic crowd doesn’t care about your subject either way. You have to work a lot harder to win them over.
  3. Uninformed: With an uninformed audience, your goal is to educate so that everyone leaves your presentation on the same page.
  4. Hostile: An actively hostile crowd will be the hardest audience to win over, as they already disagree with you. You’ll have to adjust your presentation style to accommodate their feelings.

Identifying your audience from this list will help you curate your message to their unique perspectives. With this direction, you’ll be able to develop a presentation that grabs your audience’s attention.

Invest in Business PowerPoint Presentation Templates

Listening to a speech that lasts just 10 minutes can be punishing on even the friendliest crowd if there are no accompanying visuals. That’s why few businesses ever present without a PowerPoint slide deck.

But having your deck projected behind you isn’t enough to capture people’s attention. Tired, bad design can actively distract people from the message behind your event.

Investing in business PowerPoint presentation templates can help you deliver a sleek, branded experience that doesn’t overshadow your content or stats.

Storyboard Your Content

You’ll lose listeners if you don’t prepare a sharp, poignant message — even if you use the sleekest business PowerPoint presentation templates. Meandering stories that don’t have a clear point (or, for that matter, a clear beginning, middle, or end) can confuse crowds and obscure your message.

Storyboarding your content with a business presentation expert is a great way to cut through the noise. These specialists provide experienced content consulting to ensure you get to the core purpose and key messages of each slide.

The Takeaway:

Whether you believe the fact about goldfish or not, people are engaging with content differently today. You must adjust your presentation style to suit these evolving needs. You’ll find it easy to grab your crowd’s attention and keep it when you storyboard your message, use business PowerPoint presentation templates, and know your audience.