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What Netflix Gets Right That Many Speakers Get Wrong

What is the TV show that you cannot stop after one episode?


It's just you and me here so there's no shame in admitting you have such a show - we all have that show we love to binge watch.


When you start watching you promise you'll only watch one episode, but as one episode finishes and you see the clock ticking down - "Next Episode in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3. . . 2 . . . 1" - you know you are in trouble. You have hundreds of better things to do, but you cannot shut it off, you have to see what happens.


Why does this happen to you?


Quite simply, writers have become masters at creating tension that hangs from one episode or season to the next. That tension keeps us watching, for longer than we'd like to admit.


Tension will keep your audience listening as well. Learning to build tension into your presentations will captivate your audience and keep them engaged.


The old adage - "tell what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them" - is a great way to lose your audience. If you've already told them, why would they listen two more times?


Instead, focus on building tension in your message:


  • "Today I am going to give you three principles and the third one will completely change your life."

  • "What if you had something that could change the world for the better? The research I'm about to show you will give to the tools to create the world you've always wanted"

  • "At the end of this presentation on our quarterly sales figures I am going to give you one observation that will increase your commission check in the next quarter by at least 20%.


It is a challenge to capture an audience's attention, but building tension into your speech will always gain attentions.


“Tension gains attention. If we fail to create tension we are wrong to assume that we will capture and keep anyone’s attention.” - Andy Stanley

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