Capturing and maintaining attention are two requirements for a successful presentation. Capturing attention is easy; all we need to do is move. It all boils down to reflex; when something moves we look. The danger is that we can lose the audience’s attention just as quickly.
Keeping your audience’s attention is essential if you want to share your points effectively. Storytelling meets this requirement: make sure your talking points have a narrative structure that will involve the audience by stimulating imagination and emotions. One of the most effective means in keeping a captive audience is to start your presentation with elements of dramatization. The stakes, consequences, benefits, and risks are all factors that will help the audience project themselves into situations that you present and hence become firmly anchored into your speech. You’ll find that if someone enters the room or disrupts a moment of the attention paid to you, everyone will remember where you left off and will turn their focus back to you with the same desire to know what happens next.
So be wary of the standard professional positions calling for speeches to be strictly oriented on the facts and demonstrations. Good speakers are the ones who understand that this is not enough. And before any demonstration, it is essential to attract the interest of those who are listening.