Ring Ring Ring.
These are the sounds I hate the most when I’m doing a pitch. It gets worse when people actually grab their phone and actually use it. In large audiences there will often be a few people who simply can’t resist the urge to check on their phone.
The average smartphone user taps his or her phone 2617 times a day. Needless to say, when you’re doing a pitch, you have to fight for the attention of your audience. A few statistics which will blow your mind:
- Surveys show that 77% of all Americans own a smartphone
- Research shows that people aren’t able to focus when there’s a smartphone nearby
Combine these 2 statistics and you’ll understand that it’s difficult to hold the attention of a large audience. When you’re an experienced or trained pitcher this problem can be tackled. However, how to get your audience to pay attention when you’re an unexperienced pitcher can be quite the challenge.
How to Get Your Audience to Pay Attention?
Since I started pitching, I discovered a technique which works really well. Since I discovered this technique, I even started using it in real life.
I call it the attention builder.
#1 What is an attention builder?
An attention builder is an introduction which emphasizes the importance of what you’re going to say. It’s a way of telling your audience that they probably should pay attention, or they’ll miss out on some very important information.
#2 Attention builder examples
‘I’m going to tell you something important’
‘But here’s the interesting part’
‘What comes next I’ll never forget’
‘It’s time for the next step’
‘What happened text is just crazy’
‘But wait, it becomes even better’
‘What I’m going to tell you next, will blow your mind’
#3 How does an attention builder work?
If you look at it from a marketing perspective, you use the pull technique.
Pull = Getting the customer to come to you
In other words, you’re able to make your product so appealing, that the customer actively is looking for you.
Push = Taking the product to the customer
In other words, you keep shoving your product in the face of a customer until he buys.
The reason why an attention builder works so effective, is because it’s not directive. You don’t tell your audience they should listen. You don’t force them to be quiet. You don’t do any of that.
Making your audience curious for what you have to say is the only thing you do. It’s their decision to pay attention.
#4 When to use an attention builder
There are two ways you can use an attention builder.
- You plan the attention builder ahead
I advise you to add an attention builder when you’re writing your pitch. If your pitch is 2 minutes, I recommend you to use 2 attention builders. Roughly one attention builder per minute should do the trick.
If you use too many attention builders, you create ‘inflation’ and your audience won’t take your attention builders seriously.
- You add an attention builder during your pitch
When you’re doing a pitch and you notice your audience gets a little bit distracted, it’s time to add an attention builder. I advise you to write down a few potential attention builders before your pitch. This way you have them prepared for a case of ‘emergency’.
How to get your audience to pay attention in real life
I already mentioned it in the introduction. Since I discovered the attention builder, I started using them in real life. When you’re telling a story to your friends, when you’re telling your colleagues about your business idea, this technique really works.
In this article you learned how to get your audience to pay attention. By using an attention builder, you get your audience to actively listen to what you have to say.
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