Wednesday Buzz: Your Attention Span is Getting Shorter

How to ensure attendees don't lose attention when … whoa, shiny object! Also: The National Association of Realtors gives its members another online benefit.

What can you do in just eight seconds?

Not much, but that’s how long the average American attention span lasted in 2013, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information. That’s a four-second decline from 2000. To give you a comparison, a goldfish has a longer attention span (nine seconds).

That’s not a lot of time to attract an eyeball or two, but according to Event Manager Blog writer Holly Krenek, it can be done. She recommends keeping presentations short, citing TED Talks’ 18-minute rule as an example of how effective that strategy can be.

“It’s truly fascinating to see how forward thinking the organization is when researching the length of their talks, and understanding in order to ‘inspire someone’ you cannot do so in a two-hour keynote,” Krenek writes. “It’s easy to lose a person’s attention after 20 minutes, which is not what you want to hear after speaking for an hour as a keynote presenter.”

Learning how to quickly appeal to an audience can help keep them engaged and interested.

Benefit of the Day

The National Association of Realtors knows a thing or two about great member benefits, particularly when it comes to the internet, and its latest offering is an especially useful and cost-effective one.

Teaming with the startup Placester, the real estate group is offering members access to $5-per-month web hosting that’s easy to utilize for capturing leads, writing blog posts, and sharing on social media. The sites are also mobile-friendly.

For NAR members who have signed up for the association’s “.realtor” top-level domain, the first six months are free. (ht @in8ls)

Other Links of Note

“Networking isn’t something you can just throw more hours, events, and people at. It’s something you must approach strategically.” Over at Lifehacker, Herbert Lui offers some fresh suggestions for stepping up professional networking.

Upgrade your Windows and Office products: Microsoft this week patched a bug in its software that affects every version of the operating system since Windows 95 came out 19 years ago.

Trying to prep for #GivingTuesday? In a guest post for SocialFish, CauseVox’s Jenna Sauber has some suggestions for hidden resources to help you execute a successful last-minute fundraising campaign.

Goldfish have longer attention spans than you do. (iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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