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Nir Eyal’s book, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, is a guide to staying focused on the job — the subject of Convene‘s December cover story. But how do you help attendees avoid distractions during sessions and throughout an event so that they get the most out of their time on site? Eyal had some ideas about that.
When he first started out as a public speaker, Eyal told Convene, he was offended by seeing people in the audience looking at their devices. But then, he said, he started “welcoming it as a real-time feedback mechanism. If there were a lot of people in the audience using their cell phones, that meant I wasn’t doing a good job of keeping them interested,” he said. “Distraction is oftentimes a response to internal triggers. A good speaker should be able to hold people’s attention. When people get bored, they use their phones as an escape. It’s on the speaker to see those cues and improve their talk — to step it up.”