When speaking in real space and time, especially now after the pandemic curtailed in-person meetings for so long, you may find your audience is distracted before you begin. Because your success depends on getting and holding their attention, it's possible that you'll need something more than just a great introduction (which we are covering in this month's webinar).
Way back in the golden olden days pre-pandemic, my friend (a substitute teacher) Katrina Ayres taught me how to get a group's attention by clapping. I used that exercise effectively, then added a couple of twists of my own to magnetize attention and create excitement. Because I love speaking to a pumped up, enthusiastic, electrified audience!
Here's my script for an attention-getting call-response series with gestures [in brackets]:
- If you can hear me [one hand to ear], clap once. [clap hands once]
- If you can hear me [one hand to ear], say "hey." [point with ONE hand]
- Can you hear me [both hands to ears]? Clap twice. [clap hands twice]
- Can you hear me [both hands to ears]? Say "okay"! [point with TWO hands, bouncing twice]
- Can you hear me [one hand to ear]? Clap once. [clap hands once]
- Can you hear me [both hands to ears]? Say "YAY"! [raise ONE hand like a cheer/fist pump then raise both hands and applaud].
I've used this at networking and association meetings, seminars, and even at a boisterous meeting outside. It works!
Try it and let me know how it goes for you: