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How LONG can you really hold someone's attention during a presentation?

How long can you keep the attention of your audience while giving a presentation? Presentations can turn out to be good or poor. Even the well-prepared presentations can layer turn out to be really bad. Most times, when this happens, it usually because they are boring. It's easy to tell when you have lost your audience's attention during a presentation. You begin to see phones coming out, whispers, and side talk. Some start slouching rather than nodding in conformity with the presentation. Some begin to sleep and others may look obviously disinterested.

Cognitive studies show that audiences stop paying attention to a presentation in ten minutes. Whether it's in a business presentation or a classroom setting, the audience tends to get bored and lose interest after 10 minutes. Presentations may last longer than 10 minutes at times. How do you keep your audience for extended periods?

During presentations, it's discouraging to give information to a seemingly disinterested audience. For most speakers, the main aim would be; how to get back their attention and keep it for a lengthier period. Being a speaker who has addressed several audiences in diverse situations, I understand how it feels to lose your audience's attention. Here are effective strategies that helped me keep my audience's attention.

Know Your Target Audience

When you know your target audience, you can effectively prepare a good presentation that will engage them. Business presentations that your audience can easily relate to captures their attention. For example, if your target audience were teenagers, your business presentation should conform with their age group. You should be lively, energetic, and high-spirited. Use images that appeal to them. If your middle-aged experts are your target audience, you should be more straightforward, professional, and factual. When you know your target audience, you prepare a presentation in line with their interests rather than crafting a presentation for an uninterested audience.

Start With an Engaging Introduction

Presentations that begin with clunky information make the audience lose attention in no time. A better way to start your presentation session is to use intriguing or shocking information. Eye-opening facts can also work effectively in this case.


Humans can easily relate to stories. Stories are helpful social tools that help us pass information easily. It's easier to get people's attention through stories rather than using facts or statements. Convey your message in stories to hold your audience's attention. Actual life examples and experiences can make people more interested in a presentation.

Presentation Should Reflect Human Emotion

Without emotions in the presentation, you'll sound like a robot. Your tone should express feelings. You probably shouldn't be doing the Presentation, if you are not emotionally involved in it. Behind the messages, emotions should be present to make your audience relate easily. Furthermore, even critical presentations may need humor at one point or the other. A little humor can get them to laugh or smile that can help you hold their attention.

Change the Pace of the Presentation

Regardless of whether you add emotions to the Presentation, or not, a monotonous tone will still bore your readers. Make differences in your business presentation by using your speech tone to emphasize points. People get bored with monotonous speeches. Speakers generally use the same speech tone when they give presentations, even when they have strong voices.

What’s more, slow speakers bore their audience while fast speakers inundate their audience. Audiences generally know what to expect with monotonous speakers, but when you change the pace of your speech they focus on the presentation. You can pause occasionally at some point to get their focus, then continue giving the presentation. Silence during a presentation may be a powerful presenting strategy, but try not to entangle yourself in a predictable speech pattern.

Introduce Other Co-Presenters

You don't necessarily have to give presentations alone. People remain focused when there are changes during a presentation. Introducing another expert to present some parts of the messages is a means of enhancing the presentation session.

Use Visual Content

Visual content is an effective method of attracting people. People are usually attracted to what they see. If you can't get an expert to co-present with you physically during a presentation, you can play a short video of an expert conveying the message to your audience. This is also a means of incorporating multimedia content into your presentation session.

Move Around The Room

Many presenters work in conformity with the standard set up; they stand behind to deliver their messages. For novice speakers, this standard setup feels more convenient because they can easily use their notes without being too obvious during the presentation session. However, sticking behind the podium all through the entire business presentation means you are not leveraging on your physical aura enough. To keep their attention, you need to move around different parts of the stage occasionally. Rather than standing on one spot throughout the whole business presentation. The attendees will focus on you by default when you come closer to them.

Carry Them Along

Try to involve your audience in the business presentation. Presentations shouldn't include you alone. Your audience should also be a part of it. They focus more when they participate in the process. You can encourage them to participate by bringing them out for a simple demonstration to make a point, inviting them to ask questions rather than flipping through slides without considering them, or something harmless like pointing to them when making a point.

Never Read a Slide During a Presentation

If you want to prevent having a sleepy audience, or a boring presentation, reading directly from a slide is a "no-no." It's totally boring to read from a Slide to an audience that can see the Slides. Slides already have their own messages. You should spice things up by saying something different or expand the information displaying on the Slide.

Show Demos

Demonstrations can work efficiently in keeping your audience's attention. People want content that engages them, and product demonstration is a fantastic strategy to do that.



Active speakers strive to make sure that they have their audience's attention. If you really want to engage and keep your audience's attention, these strategies can give you the results you want.

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