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Apocalypse is near. Nostradamus rightly predicted the beginning of the end. Hope has flown the coop.

What else can one surmise, when research points that today humans have shorter attention span than goldfish?

That’s right, a goldfish. And here we were, about to take over the world with our grey cells. With the advent of super-technology, it now takes 8 seconds for you to get bored, and start doing something else. Meaning right about now you’re tempted to stop reading my article and start playing CandyCrush on your phone. Popping out the mobile already?

8 seconds’ of attention today is like trying keep your eyes open while sleeping. Now imagine trying to hold your audience’s attention when you have to address a long speech or presentation. How do you hold on to their focus and avoid the advent of CandyCrush before you’ve even introduced yourself?

We’ve all heard about confidence, strong voice, sharp dressing etc. to make a mark on stage. Today I’ll share some unique pointers on how to successfully keep your audience’s focus entirely on you when you step on stage. These will focus on 3 criteria: Connect, Capture & Captivate your audience.


1. Compliment to Captivate. Not the same as a generic thank-you to the audience. Make your people feel GOOD about themselves. Make them feel like they matter, that their actions do speak loud words.

In 1893, Swami Vivekananda, an erudite Indian monk who visited USA for the first time to share his philosophy with the West, started his speech with:

“Sisters and Brothers of America, It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us.”

Not only did he get their attention, he received a standing ovation from a crowd that until 25 minutes ago had no idea about him, his philosophy or his culture.


2. Action for Connection. Ideal for keynotes.Visual input is far more engaging and appealing than auditary input. A purposeful action, in sync with your speech or presentation will leave a mark on your audience long after you’re done talking.

2015 World Champion of Public Speaking Mohammed Qahtani started his winning speech by lighting a cigarette on stage… almost. It took him 5 seconds to have their complete attention and immortalize the importance of non-verbal language.

Whether it’s pulling out the politically-incorrect tobacco wrap, throwing your hands up in surprise or taking a rose out of your pocket- don’t be afraid to push your boundaries and be unique if it conveys your message that much stronger. Think how you can use your body to convey a powerful message without saying a word.



3. Humour to Capture. More often than not, your audience is smart, curious and willing to absorb your idea. They’ll just absorb it more readily if they’re being entertained while listening to you.
Now I’m not implying that you’ve to start telling jokes or try to be ‘the funny guy’- you want them to laugh with you, not at you.  Push too hard on the jokes and you’ll lose your authenticity in a jiffy and never regain it. You can, however, loosen ’em up.

Witty humour, in the right context, often ironical, strikes the magic cord with the audience and sets the stage for some brilliant engagement throughout the presentation. Find relatable, ironic crisp humour that you audience will immediately respond to, to start off on a high note.

Sir Ken Robinson, educator and TED speaker (most watched TED speech of all time) had his audience laughing and eating out of his hand by the 8th second. They were captivated, absorbed, enthralled by his every word. And you can do the same.


Be it a compliment, an action or humour; all work towards the same goal- they connect, capture & captivate your audience. Incorporate these in your next presentation and watch your audience dance to your tunes.


I help people discover their unique speaking abilities by finding the speaker within. Through varied workshops and coaching programs, I guide them to transform their speeches from good-to-extraordinary.

If you’re interested in elevation your speaking abilities, contact me here


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