Preparing to Master the Stage
Remember the Ten to Twelve
According to John Medina in his
book, Brain Rules, you have ten to twelve minutes
to hold your audienceís attention, and then they start
to drift away from you. If the information in your
presentation isnít too boring but not overly exciting,
youíll need to build something that breaks the flow of
information every ten to twelve minutes.
Studies reviewed by Dr. Medina
confirm his findings on this matter. It seems that
before the fifteen-minute mark of a normal presentation,
the audience has checked out. Thereís no real consensus
as to precisely why this occurs, but itís been
substantiated. So, what does that mean to you?
It means that, when you prepare
your talk or presentation and itís going to be longer
than ten to twelve minutes, youíll want to include
something to snap your audience out of their mental
pattern and reengage their attention. So, how do you do
that? Try telling a story, offering an example or
showing an exhibit or demonstrationóanything that gets
your audienceís mind out of their intellect, and into
their emotions or creativity.
The key here is to make sure the
material included to break the flow of information is
material relevant to the subject at hand. Use the
opportunity to further enhance the learning experience,
as opposed to redirecting the audienceís attention
completely off topic.
So, whatís the lesson? Plan to
interrupt the flow of information every ten to twelve