We were asked a question by a young delegate who was attending an agency European get together in London.
She asked: “How do I get their attention when I stand up to speak when most of them are chatting amongst themselves?”
We told her not to attempt to speak until the room was quiet and the delegates were looking at her. In order to achieve that she needed to stay silent until the room was quiet.
We explained that silence is a powerful hook and attention getter. If the delegates don’t hear you speak, after 15 seconds or less they will wonder why and look at you.
We told her there was a formula to fill these seconds so she was building up confidence and presence.
It goes as follows:
BREATHE IN – to your diaphragm
LOOK – around the whole group
LISTEN – let the noise settle.
FEEL – you’re an orchestra conductor and you choose the moment to start.
AND – don’t forget to SMILE!
Next time we saw her she said with a wonderful big grin:
“It worked! It worked!”