How To Get an Audience to Put Down Their Phones and Listen
Millions of voices are trying to get your attention at every moment. Most of these voices exist in your phone and laptop. Co-workers, marketers, friends, advertisers, family members, recruiters, influencers, websites, and your social media connections are consistently vying for your eyes and ears.
So, we are not overwhelmed, you and I have learned to tune out the voices until we perceive we need to listen.
For example, YouTube is filled with videos on how to fix a toilet, you can bet if I'm watching such a video my toilet is broken. I only listen to that voice when I have a need to hear what it is saying.
An audience will listen to you if they perceive they need the content you are bringing. Some in your audience will know by your job title or topic that they need to listen, but most will only pay attention if you create a need for them to listen.
You have a minute or two when you begin speaking to convince your audience to listen to you. At the start of your talk, raise a question they all ask, a problem they all have, or a tension they all feel and declare you are about to solve that issue once and for all.
If you do this well and quickly, your audience will tune out all the other voices and listen to you.