How do you fight audience distraction?

Image by Jenny Rollo

Q. How can you avoid distractions in the listening audience? I know you have to make eye contact, but what if they are talking, texting, messing with their hair, or doing other things that could distract the speaker?

A. Why are they distracted? Come on, isn't your speech exciting enough?

Well, maybe it's not, but depending on the venue and the audience, you'll almost always have some people not listening to you.

There's two possible solutions:

  1. Get their attention. This is the ideal solution. Get people's attention by talking about something interesting, telling a good story, abruptly (but appropriately) changing your dynamic level, or similar techniques.
  2. Ignore them. If they're not listening to your speech, don't worry about them. Even when you're trying to get their attention, don't forget that your primary subjects are people who are actually listening to you.

    If you're giving a great speech on a good topic, it's their loss.

Happy speaking!

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