It never ceases to amaze me that I will be sitting in an audience listening to a speaker and people are either texting, reading their e-mail, or surfing the net on their cell phones.  It happens at my Rotary Club all the time, and I think it’s rude.  That being said, there are three realities you as professional speakers, trainers, and presenters need to know:

  1. You need to be more engaging than the person texting (includes everything I mentioned).  People make priorities all the time, and their listening time is one of them. If you are more dynamic and interesting than what’s on their phone, they will listen to you.
  2. No matter HOW good you are, the world of technology has made some people ADD.  No matter how good you are, they will continue to text as if it’s a sickness or addiction (maybe both).  Don’t let it disrupt your presentation. There are plenty in that audience that need what you’ve got, so give it to them.
  3. If you’re bold (and why shouldn’t you be), you can use it as a humorous opportunity.  Never embarrass anyone, but come up with a line that you can use that will bring levity. You might be able to make it self-deprecating which will endear you to your audience.

Bottom line – You have to be more entertaining and engaging than the audience members cell phone.  The burden is on you!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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