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  • Writer's pictureRavi Rajani

My "Stack The Momentum Method": How To Command Attention In Your Next Virtual Presentation

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Attention is the currency

Remember when the pandemic began?

Zoom fatigue was (and still is) real.

The worst thing was, all virtual presentations kinda sucked (and still do).

Lighting - we looked like we were streaming live from our mom's basement.

Audio - we sounded like we were speaking inside of a fish bowl.

Video - we forgot nobody wants to see our dirty laundry in the background.


But as they say, you can't put lipstick on a pig.

Meaning, you can have the most beautiful setup...

But, if you can't get your audience's attention and keep it, you have no chance at earning the opportunity to become their trusted guide.

Attention is the currency of the modern world.

Want to learn how to ethically steal it in broad daylight?

Enter my "Stack The Momentum Method".

Whether you deliver webinars to potential customers...

Represent your company on virtual stages...

Or lead your weekly all-hands meeting online...

Today's newsletter is for you my friend.

Let's set the scene

101% of the time, I start my presentations with a personal story.


I want to connect with the audience on an emotional level.

I want to be recognized as a relatable human being.

And I want to be acknowledged as a potential guide who can take them from pain to glory.

However, pandemic-ridden virtual presentations taught me something interesting.

Instead of using my story to GET attention, I should use it to KEEP attention.


In a world of people switching off their cameras, secretly scrolling emails or engaging in private jokes on Slack...

I wanted to ensure my story gets the eyeballs and ears it deserves in a virtual setting.

So, I began inserting a pattern interrupting opener to build audience momentum.

See, once I got their attention and built momentum...

It allowed my story to work its magic with maximum effect.

Enter my 3-step "Stack The Momentum Method".

Step 1

Just like a comedian would build momentum through audience participation in a live in-person show...

We're going to head to the chat function to recreate a similar experience virtually.

Ultimately, with my "Stack The Momentum Method" we're going to ask the audience a series of 3 questions.

Question 1 begins with a low friction question which only requires a "YES" or "NO" as a response.


We need to build momentum quickly.

In order to do that, we must reduce the perceived effort of engaging in the chat function.

For example:

"What's happening people, let's head on down to the chat function for a second...

I'd love to know, how many of you secretly pressed snooze on your alarm this morning?

Type YES in the chat if you did and type NO if you didn't!"

Low levels of friction and invasiveness should have the chat function popping off with responses!

You'll notice some people will also add some context and even throw in a joke or two.

This is an incredible opportunity to read out their name and response to stimulate a light hearted atmosphere.

For example:

"Joe says...yup, 'I proudly snoozed my alarm 8 times this morning...sleep is the best!' I agree man...totally...but my 11 month old daughter seems to think otherwise!"

If time permits, you can even give an attendee 60 seconds to share their brief story on stage.

Step 2

Momentum is officially building.

Now we want to insert a medium friction question that requires a quantitative answer as a response.

For example:

"Okay, people...what I'd love to know is...on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself as a storyteller today?"

This is a medium friction question as it requires a certain level of vulnerability.

However, you've already began building healthy rapport, right?

If you're on the right track, responses should be flowing like the River Nile!

Remember, these responses are GOLD.

As it would tell me if I have a room full of storytelling "white belts" or "black belts".

Furthermore, it also allows me to get playful.


Some individuals will score themselves high or even off the scale.

I now have the opportunity to have fun with these people and even identify my sidekick for feedback and perspective throughout my presentation.

Side note - You can also ask this question at the end of your presentation to assess the instant impact of your learnings.

Step 3

Momentum is accelerating and you have your audience's attention.

This is the perfect time to ask a high-friction question which requires a qualitative response.

For example:

"Okay, before we get into it peeps...I'd love to know...what's ONE challenge you're experiencing right now that you believe this presentation could solve?"

The interesting thing is if you asked this question out of the gate...

You would receive surface-level answers at best.


Zero rapport and a lack of psychological safety.

I digress.

The beauty is, the responses you receive should have you feeling like a legend!

As now you know EXACTLY what to sprinkle into your presentation to make this a "home run" for people.

This will ensure your presentation makes your audience feel seen and heard.

As you solve micro problems for people throughout your presentation, you'll begin to accelerate trust like never before.

You've officially built audience momentum.

You've stolen your audience's attention in a healthy way.

And in my case, my audience is now primed for my succinct story to KEEP their attention.

Action step

Priming: Write down your 3 questions before your next low-stakes virtual presentation.

Training day: Test out the "Stack The Momentum Method" in your low-risk scenario.

Game day: Graduate to using it in a high-stakes scenario and watch the magic unfold.

Bonus tip - Review the Zoom recording post-game day to see where you can improve. Remember, a confident delivery is everything!

In summary...

This isn't a rule.

As always, "leading with intention" is Batman and "applying context" is Robin.

For example, I recently delivered the virtual keynote speech for Oracle NetSuite's Sales Kickoff with over 2,500 people in attendance.

The chat function was disabled.

As a result, I adapted my method accordingly.

Test, tweak and iterate...

Make it your own.

I hope you enjoyed today's release!

I'll see you next week my friend,

Ravi Rajani

P.S. Enjoy the content? Share the below with your leader...

Book me for a storytelling keynote or workshop: Whether it's in person or virtual, to an intimate audience or a room full of thousands, learn more about how I can support your team at your next sales kickoff, offsite or company retreat.

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