What is the length of an audience’s attention span?

The answer may surprise you. Good thing, the author shares ways in which speakers can command the audience’s attention.

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How long can she hold your attention?

If the topic is of interest to you, and she is a good presenter, you can focus on the presentation for seven to 10 minutes at most. If you’re not interested in the topic, or the presenter is particularly boring, you’ll lose interest much faster—possibly you’ll tune out within seven seconds instead of minutes.

If people have a short break, they can start over with another seven- to 10-minute period, but it is the longest block of time they will pay attention to any one presentation.

Why “Ignite!” and Pecha Kucha are so popular

If you’ve ever been to an “Ignite!” or Pecha Kucha presentation “jam,” you would likely agree that the seven-to-10-minute rule holds.

These are meetings in which presenters come together to give short presentations in a structured format. For an Ignite session, each presenter has five minutes to present 20 slides, or 15 seconds each. The slides are automatically advanced, so speakers must live by the rules. Pecha Kucha presentations are similar; they have 20 slides that display for 20 seconds each.

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