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Speaking in Public to a Bored Audience

When speaking in public, you will naturally be looking at the people attending the meeting.

While you are speaking, all of the meeting attendees will be looking at you, but have they lost interest and are no longer listening or paying attention? 

speaking in public

Whenever you are speaking in public, you will want to notice if anyone attending the meeting has lost interest in your presentation.

Some of the signs you will see in the attendees to indicate the possible loss of interest includes: -

  • Locked stare
  • Their eyes fixed on the ceiling or floor
  • Being focused on their phones
  • Continuous whispering to colleagues
  • Doodling on their notepad
Presentations & speaking in public

What should you do if you see any or all of these signs?

Firstly, notice if there is only one person who appears to have lost interest or whether it several people.

Observe if they have lost interest or are just distracted by an important message or thought that they are taking care of for a few moments.

If you conclude they have lost interest, then it's important to do something, anything, except continuing. 

Ignoring the signs can leave everyone feeling they received little value from your speech. 

Practical suggestions of what to do in these situations include: -

  • Asking them a question
  • Getting people to share something with the person next to them
  • Taking a break

Creating a break in the presentation with these activities will help to ensure the attendees are able to refocus their attention on the content you are sharing with them.

About the Author

Andy O'Sullivan is an international bestselling author of 5 books on public speakingpitching and presenting. Andy is a speaker and educator on the subject of how to survive and thrive in the business world with effective public speaking, pitching and presentation skills.

Andy O'Sullivan - Expert in Public Speaking & Presentation Skills
Andy O'Sullivan - International Bestselling Author, Speaker and Educator