We spend a lot of time studying, practicing, and teaching the art and science of human engagement. It’s essential to communicating, selling, and leading.
We define engagement as: a dynamic which holds attention, heightens interest, and motivates action.
Think about a meeting where you were engaged, and then think about a meeting where you were checked out. In the first instance, the circumstances captured your attention, created interest, and generated more action.
A person’s attention span starts to dissipate after ten minutes — unless you do something to change the form of engagement.
When you’re one-on-one it’s easier to keep their attention. Just get the other person talking. This requires active engagement. (Note: Very few salespeople understand this simple, simple, idea!!!)
But what about when you’re leading a meeting? Or giving a speech? All you need to do is shift the form of (brain) engagement every ten minutes.
If you’re sharing a lot of information, stop and tell a brief story to weave it all together. This activates the emotive part of the brain. Or, stop and give your audience a chance to process information with a partner. There are many ways to reset attention spans every ten minutes. When you do this, the engagement holds, learning increases, and people take more action.