Grabbing Their Attention

Grabbing attention comes in many forms. For some it is a matter of how you present yourself, the theatrics of the moment. I once made a sermon on “how not to sale” something, entitled “Would You Buy A Used Chariot From This Man?” If the title didn’t catch attention, the fact that I came attired (in the late 1990s) in a loud 1970s vintage plaid “used car salesman” blazer.

For others, it is the all about your own excitement on the topic. Enthusiasm is contagious. Your pitch, body language, and your true belief in your message, often captures the mind and mood of the audience.

But, “for more bang for the buck” try silence. Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson captures this approach. “Wilson stopped and stood silent. Inattention dies a quick and sure death when a speaker does that.” Better still it works. Not too long mind you, 5 seconds or so will do. Any longer and it seems an eternity (at least to the speaker), and any shorter and the audience may think you lost your train of thought. But a well measured, purposeful pause will often pay off.

Give it – – – – – – – – – – a try.




Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

Illustration of Twain at the Lotos Club by Pierre Brissaud from ad for Old Taylor Kentucky Whiskey
from Feb. 1937 COUNTRY LIFE
from the Dave Thomson collection

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