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Deadly Sins of Pitch Communication -- Assuming Audience Attention

There is a reason people call it "paying attention" because like money, your audience has a limited “attention wallet.”

While you want them to spend that wallet on what is important to you (your pitch), you won’t be surprised that they want to spend it on what’s important to them.

Cognitive Load Theory tells us that the human brain can only focus on a limited amount of information at any given time.

And before you say, “Good Morning,” don’t you think these busy people have a head full of thoughts, ideas, and inner monologue rattling around their brains like so many air hockey pucks?

You must earn your audience’s attention so that they will remember your main point.

How to Do It

  1. Think James Bond film. Start off with a hook that grabs them by the collar.

  2. Less is more. More is boring, distracting, and sometimes annoying.

  3. Spoken or unspoken, there is a promise you made to your audience ahead of the pitch. Force yourself to make the promise explicit and then deliver on it.

  4. Develop digestible sound bites.

  5. Repeat your main point.

In summary, people can only focus on so much at any one time and they want to focus on what is important to them.

By sticking to the point and making it relevant to your audience, you will get them to spend some of their attention wallet on you and your idea.

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