Attention span, Grabbing your audiance, First Impression

If adult attention spans are limited...and they are...(a study by the Navy determined the average adult attention span is 18 minutes One research study actually
suggested that the attention span of most adolescents is about 11
minutes -- roughly the time between commercials in a typical
television show.?
Studies on attention span also shed light on why students have
difficulty with the traditional lecture format. Adult learners can
keep tuned in to a lecture for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a
time, and this at the beginning of the class. In 1976, A. H. Johnstone
and F. Percival observed students in over 90 lectures, with twelve
different lecturers, recording breaks in student attention. They
identified a general pattern: After three to five minutes of "settling
down" at the start of class, one study found that "the next lapse of
attention usually occurred some 10 to 18 minutes later, and as the
lecture proceeded the attention span became shorter and often fell to
three or four minutes towards the end of a standard lecture." Other
studies appear to confirm these findings.?
Mittendorf and Kalish note that studies on attention span indicate
that, when passively absorbing information, adult learners usually
experience mental lapses after a mere 15-20 minutes.?
), then it's critical that business presenters craft a memorable message to enhance retention. One way to be memorable is to grab your audience's attention when you begin your speech with a attention grabbing opener.

A powerful opening gives your audience a reason for listening. A bonus is that getting them engaged and interested right at the beginning will minimize any nervousness you may be feeling.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional
The Body Language Expert
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