Successful speakers use techniques to capture attention to ensure that the public is following them. These techniques are designed to attract the public and to preserve attention throughout your speech. Strategies to capture attention using both verbal and non-verbal language.
Techniques that use verbal language are quite limited, although at first glance seems easy to use them, they can be used mainly in the introductory part.
Jokes are a simple solution in the introduction, as they induce a state of relaxation among the audience. If the speaker begins his speech with a joke it should be related to the subject, it should not be dirty, aggressive or to contradict what you say.
Atypical presentation is another way of gaining attention and maintain a strong connection. Any speaker interested in attracting the audience should know that the classic formula “Hello My name is..” could be replaced with any other greeting that stands out and capture the interest of those who listen. Some examples to understand me: “What’s up?”, “Howdy..”, “Hey..”, and something exotic “Moshi moshi” (this is from japanese meaning the same as hey, hello). Just as with jokes the presentation should not be provocative because that could bring antipathy.
Leaving the subject is a technique used by speakers with experience. If during his speech the speaker “forgets” for a moment what he was going to say moving to something else, the public interest will be regained. It is sufficient that a member from the audience be taken as a witness (“I’m convinced that the blonde lady in the third row agrees that …”?) for winning interest. Experience is necessary because very easily the limit can be exceeded and cause the opposite desired effect.
Since it has several elements composing it, body language offers several possibilities to capture attention. Any shocking gesture, every inflection of the voice or change of pace come into notice.
Gestures can offer countless ways to capture attention. A simple gesture that is not usually used in a speach like clapping or snapping of fingers can do great. When using gestures to attract attention it must be taken into account what is being said at that time, to not create contradictions. It is also important not to exaggerate.
Mimicry can be an important element for capturing attention and keeping it, especially when the audience is close enough to observe the traits of the speaker. A slight frown or a grin can light up the interest, although usually are not desirable in a speech. Exactly that lack of desirability makes them attractive, but their emphasis can arouse anxiety and trigger the opposite reaction.
Breaking the rhythm offers great opportunities to attract the public. Without interfering, suddenly it underlines the importance of certain parts of speech. Changing the rhythm it is made at a gradual pace to avoid disturbing, but not very slow to be perceived.
Increase or decrease the volume is one of the easiest options to capture attention. Without falling into the extremes (the public needs to hear what is said, but should not be assaulted by shouts) the speaker can emphasize what is important.
Tone is also a good “weapon”. Interrupting the speech with moments of enthusiastic tone preceding moments of calmness attracts the attention on the calm part of the speech. Similar happens with any intercalation of tones, attention being focused on the different tone then the speaker usually uses.
Moments of silence captures attention in a specific way. A well-timed break has the power to raise a slight unease among the public because it gives the feeling of losing control. What is important is that in these moments of silence the audience is curious, wanting to know what happens. It is essential that the break to be somewhere between long and short, to arouse curiosity and the feeling that something is going to happen.
It is important to note that the strategies for capturing attention can be used together, this increasing the chances of achieving the goal. Also, they only serve to emphasize certain points. Extensive use of these techniques is likely to cause the feeling of aggression.