Introducing the YODEL Technique™: A Scientifically Backed Method to Maintain High Audience Attention

by Phil Waknell, Andrea Pacini -

The YODEL Technique

For many years, we've said that your audience's attention is like sand in an hourglass. Sooner or later, no matter how entertaining you are, the attention will run out, and it's not up to them to make an effort to listen: it's up to you to reset their attention regularly, turning over that hourglass before it runs out.

Now following successful trials in Switzerland, Ideas on Stage is proud to bring you a completely new and original way to reset their attention: the YODEL Technique™.

Based on centuries of Swiss tradition, the YODEL Technique™ is simple to use, takes your audience by surprise, and is guaranteed to wake them up.

If you've never heard of yodelling, check out this short video of voice coach Jimmy Cannon, demonstrating this impressive vocal technique.

Putting it into practice is straightforward. Every ten minutes or so, pause your presentation, take a deep breath, and yodel loudly for several seconds. Then, recap what you said in the previous ten minutes, and move on. This is grounded in science: wake people up, reset their attention, remind them what they heard before moving on, and they will remember so much more.

We’ve tested the YODEL™ Technique in partnership with the First Applied Psychological Research Institute (Lausanne), and results are extremely encouraging. When audiences get over the initial surprise, they find it engaging, but what is more important is that they remember 30% more than in our control experiment, which instead reset their attention using funny cat videos, and 80% more than the baseline, which was a simple presentation without any attempt to reset the audience's attention.

It’s not necessary to wear traditional Swiss mountain dress to use the YODEL Technique™, but you will certainly make more of an impression if you do.

So next time you need to keep people's attention, remember the YODEL Technique™ – which can become Your Original, Daring, Entertaining Leadership style. After watches, chocolate and cheese, this is the next best thing to come out of Switzerland.

Our April Fool's Day joke about yodelling was all in good fun. Now, let's focus on real ways to engage your audiences. Here’s how you can get started: