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How to Keep People Engaged and Excited at Your Next Sickle Cell Awareness Talk

May 9, 2016 by Andrea
Photo: Gratisography

Photo: Gratisography

According to a recent Microsoft study of Canadian media consumption and digital lifestyles, the average person's attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013 -- apparently one second less than that of a goldfish. 

If you're a sickle cell educator of some sort, this information is crucial to understanding your audiences and how best to keep them interested. Rather than sticking to a basic lecture and running the risk of people zoning out -- napping, playing on their cell phones, staring into space -- infuse a little TED Talk inspiration into your next presentation. These tips will help keep your group engaged and ready to spread awareness.

1) Be Captivating. TED Talk speakers are known for maintaining the intrigue level with their audiences, be they in person or online. To do this, they focus on relatable storytelling to get their messages across.

2) Keep it Short. While an 8-second speech is clearly impossible, you can definitely pare things down to a total of 20-30 minutes. People are more likely to stay tuned in to presentations that don't drag on; plus, if you've been given an hour of time with your group, you can use the second half for Q&A.

3) Skip the Slides. Don't you just love it when a speaker puts up PowerPoint slides of literally every word her or she is saying? Didn't think so. So, don't do that to your audiences, either. If you must use slides, be sure they only contain bullet points of what you'll be touching on or images/infographics that help illustrate your points. 

4) Embrace Technlogy. Your goal is to inform people about SCD and how they can help, so consider recording your talks and uploading them to YouTube. This way, you can promote your videos via social media and share your message and calls to action with the world.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Drop them in the comments below!

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