Steve feels very strongly about butchers who don’t trim spare ribs correctly. He leaves no doubt on this topic as the show get started. Luckily Kurt turns things around and reminds him that this is a show about persuasion, not gripes with local butchers.
There are a few adages we’ve all heard when it comes to clothes. “Clothes make the man” or “dress for success.” They’re such common sayings that they carry almost no weight anymore. But new research out of Northwestern University is showing that there is a direct correlation between how we address, and how efficiently we perform. Check out the article here.
Keeping Attention: A Bored Mind Says NO!
It is common sense to realize you have to keep your audience’s attention in order to persuade them. If you lose them, you lose your chance for them to understand and accept your proposal. We know from our own personal experience that we tend to let our minds naturally drift when we are listening to other people. We cannot focus on one item for too long unless we are forced to do so. Master Persuaders can make a person want to pay attention and stay focused. You may lose your audience’s attention from time to time but it is your job to bring them back to full attention status. You can help your prospect lose track of time.
Some estimate that the average adult attention span is about 18 minutes. What’s more, studies indicate that attention spans have been decreasing steadily over the past decade. After our attention span is lapsed, we fall into boredom and no longer listen. You have to be creative to maintain the mental involvement that is required to persuade a mind. One way to keep the mind harnessed is to give your audience enough time to process what you are telling them. You can tell by the look in their eyes if you have lost them. I’m sure you have taken seminars or college classes where you have been completely lost. When the professor asks questions, you don’t raise your hand because you have no idea what is going on. Give your listeners enough time to absorb what you’re saying, but obviously not so long that they become totally bored and detached.
Some more ideas on ways to help people choose to pay attention:
•Make startling statements
•Speak in the first person
•Present new and innovative ideas
You can see that these techniques are used to grab back the attention of your listeners when their minds have started wandering. Employed properly they will bring your audience’s attention back to you.