Last week I was in Las Vegas for a large tech conference. The opening session took place in an arena that seated more than ten thousand people. At any given moment, I’d say that 25-35% of the crowd was engaged with an electronic device.

Holding an audience’s attention isn’t easy under any circumstances. Even before the invention of electricity, our minds had plenty of bandwidth for wandering. But it’s one thing to compete with a wandering mind; competing with a device that provides instant access to a world of information, connection and distraction is something quite different.

Those of us who help create live events and presentations have a choice to make: accept that our audiences will be distracted or engage fully in the battle for their attention.

I choose to fight. I know I’m up against a powerful opponent. So I will focus relentlessly on making every moment of my event or presentation more compelling than a smartphone.

Who’s with me?

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