Magazine article Talent Development

T + D Online

Magazine article Talent Development

T + D Online

Article excerpt


Years of shushing from grade-school teachers apparently haven't curbed people's desire to chat during seminars. Mark Ellwood, of ASTD's Training Basics community, asks, "What is everyone's favorite technique for getting the attention of a room full of seminar attendees busily discussing a topic in their groups?"

If I have access to a light switch, flicking the lights off and on.


Walk up to a small group of people at the front of the class and tell them that they're going to help you quiet the room. Then have them gently make a "shhhh" sound without turning to anyone else. Soon, nearby groups will hear. Continue to expand your range of eye contact and ask more people to join in. Before you know it, the whole room is going "shhhh." Then you can make a joke, such as, "It sounds like we all sprang a leak." It works, and it involves the whole group.

Laura L.

Since the members of your group are professionals, a good route is to treat them professionally. Creating an atmosphere of respect starts with honoring time commitments. If the presenter gives the impression that starting on time is important, others will respect the time and be prepared. …

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