You have earn attention.

Ken Camp notes an article about continuous partial attention:

During the presentations the faces of at least half the crowd were lit with the spooky reflection of the laptops open before them. Those without computers would periodically bow their heads to the palmtop shrine of the BlackBerry. Every speaker was competing with the distractions of e-mail, instant messaging, Web surfing, online bill paying, blogging and an Internet chat “back channel” where conferencees supplied snarky commentary on the speakers.

The article refers to "cognitive fatigue of knowledge workers" but paying attention to all of these channels is still a personal choice.

But really, when was the last time a speaker or their presentation was compelling enough to make you ignore everything else?

Speakers need to work to earn my attention. It isn’t enough to just stand there and regurgitate information.


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