Getting and Keeping a person’s Attention

by staff of ACS (Correspondence School)

People can become bored fast, and it may not necessarily be your fault.

We need to capture and hold people’s attention in all sorts of situations:

  • Parents need to get children to listen
  • Employers need to get staff to absorb orders
  • Teachers need to get students to retain what they are taught

The answer is often simpler than you may think. Most people have an attention span for approximately 3 minutes only. To grab and hold someone’s attention, you must change your approach to them every 3 minutes (or less).

You can do this in many different ways:

  • Speak louder
  • Speak softer
  • Move your arms and head
  • Stop being so animated
  • Make a load noise by dropping something, moving a chair, or doing something silly like ringing a bell
  • Introduce a visual aid to the conversation.
  • Take your coat off
  • Put a hat on (or take it off)
  • Pick up something and wave it about (eg. A pen, umbrella, etc)
  • Pick up a photograph or something else and show it to your audience as a visual aid.


When you change the stimulus, you jolt a person’ psyche and that can give you another 3 minutes of attention!


Why not learn more and apply this sort of thing to be more affective whether for your personal life or at work.