For anyone who has run a meeting or given a presentation to a group, the sound of a mobile phone going off is one of those annoying but common interruptions. What can business presenters do to minimize these distractions?
This article will look at setting ground rules.
Although you may never completely stop the use of mobile phones in larger meetings, you can let the audience know what the meeting’s expectations are. This can be done by the host or MC of the meeting, written on a flipchart or computer slide. A simple ground rule can reduce the number of distractions.
At the beginning of the presentation, take out your mobile phone, show it to the audience and ask them to switch it to vibrate or silent mode. Explain that when an important call is received, they should step outside the room to take the call.
Good presenters also take this opportunity to explain that the purpose of this ground rule is not to stop the audience conducting their important business but to show respect and politeness for the other audience members. This not only reduces resistance to your ground rule but also elevates the audience to a higher place where they show respect and courtesy for other participants.
Explain to the audience that there will be a ten minute break every hour, and so they can take calls and call back then. This will also reduce the need for immediate calls.
Warwick John Fahy is the international executive speech coach for senior executives, business leaders and entrepreneurs who need to influence clients, investors, shareholders and team members. His highly practical approach and deep cross cultural intelligence have made him a sought-after business presentation coach throughout the world.
Warwick is the author of the acclaimed book, The One Minute Presenter – 8 steps to successful business presentations in a short attention span world. For free executive speaking tips visit http://www.oneminutepresenter.com/blog
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