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Articles | Speaking
Jason Ostrander

When speaking to a group of students, don’t concentrate on that one kid who’s not paying attention.

While it’s totally natural to want everyone to be paying attention to you when you’re communicating something, the reality is not everyone will listen to you. The student in the back of the room might become a distraction for you –and not because of the fact that they’re texting while you’re talking but because you are trying so hard to win him/her over.

The real danger here is that you’ll miss the opportunity to communicate to the people that are actually listening to you!

This might have something to do with you communication style, but it may not.

Ask yourself: “Am I communicating from the perspective of the one talking, or from the perspective of the one listening?”

In other words, have I taken enough time to discern the background of my audience?

There is a very real chance that the reason someone isn’t paying attention has more to do with them and what they are currently going through that would make them pre-disposed to listening.  The greatest communicator in the world might not be able to sway that one kid, so beware of neglecting the students who are hanging on your every word!

Go with the goers!

JO

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