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People can think about four times faster than a person can talk so it is easy for your participants’ minds to wander during your teleseminars.

In our society it is the norm to multitask even though research shows us that multitasking is not effective. When you have someone on the phone, you can’t see them and it so very easy for them to check email, do dishes or the laundry while they’re on the call.

Now, the fact that they took time out of their busy schedule to be on the call with you tells you that you’ve got their interest. Now how do you keep it?

Through my 10 years of giving teleseminars, I’ve learned some effective strategies to keep folks engaged:

1. Give them a “roadmap” at the beginning of the call. This creates expectation for what’s coming up and also shows you’re organized.

Example: Today you are going to learn how to easily master the art of giving teleseminars. You will learn 3 things: how to choose your topic, how to create the content and resources where you can list your teleseminar.

2. Modulate your voice. No one wants to listen to a droning, monotone voice. Slow it down for emphasis and speed it up too…remember they can listen faster than you can speak. Also vary your volume.

3. Use NLP. There is a model of interpersonal communication called Neuro Linguistic Programming. While I’m no expert in the field, I have found one technique I learned that is effective in teaching teleseminars.

Most of us have a preferred way of taking in information – audio, visual, kinesthetic, or audio-digital. When we hear words from our preferred format, it gets our attention.

For example, for the folks on your call who have a preference towards visual, when you say: picture this, or can you see that, or is that clear…they will pay attention.

For those with an auditory preference: give me your ear, does that sound right, does that resonate with you?

For those with kinesthetic: are you grasping that, does it feel right, are you getting the hang of it?

Audio-digital is the only one that does not use sensory words: You can ask does that make sense, do you understand, do you like this process?

My natural style is auditory-digital. I easily can fall into the trap of asking the group on the phone frequently “does that make sense?” When doing this, I get the attention of some of the group but not all.

I’ve learned how to naturally mix up the words that appeal to all four types of information processing and encourage you to try it also.

4. Have them build lists. For example, say, I am going to give you 3 main tips on how to incorporate more vegetables in your daily diet. Under those 3 main tips, I have 3 simple suggestions for each.

So take out a piece of paper and make a list using the numbers 1, 2, 3. Leave space between them and under each number, write a, b and c.

5. Call on people by name. This works when your group is not larger than 12 and you want interaction. If you’re looking to purely give them info and have them all muted, obviously this technique isn’t suitable.

But it sure keeps people’s attention, knowing you might call on them at any time.

Now, it is not my desire to ever put someone “on the spot.” On the other hand, I have often found that the introverts on the call have brilliant things to share and never do, if not invited by you.

Here’s how I handle it with grace:

At the very beginning of the call, set the “rules” of the call. Use your own style -here’s mine:

I tell them that this is a safe learning space and that I get so excited about this topic, I often want to hear what others on the call are thinking…if I call on you by name and you’d like to share -great -if you’d rather not -just say “I’ll pass” and I’ll honor that and move right along. That gives me permission to call on them and keeps their attention!