I want to use captive audience in my sales copy but even though that phrase is exactly the meaning I am trying to convey, I want to avoid the word captive as it carries a negative connotation. Is there a 2 or 3 word phrase that has the same meaning but has a positive, or at least a neutral connotation?

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    How about "had the audience in the palm of his hand"? Jun 23, 2017 at 8:33
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    Can you provide a sentence or two to demonstrate how you want the word to be used 'in action'?
    – Lawrence
    Jun 23, 2017 at 8:46
  • This is a similar phrase to what I was planing to use... Google isn't thrilled about duplicate content: "improved results by creating a more captive audience"
    – Serj Sagan
    Jun 23, 2017 at 9:03
  • 'a loyal audience' is one that has made a choice to stay with you.
    – Hugh
    Jun 23, 2017 at 9:09
  • An 'appreciative audience' has a positive denotation, but may still prefer to catch the last bus home. Jun 23, 2017 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Captive audience -- M-W

a person or people who are unable to leave a place and are thus forced to listen to what is being said
The passengers on the plane were a captive audience.

This is usually only applicable if your audience is unable to leave, even though they don't want to stay and watch.

But instead, consider captivated (audience) -- Vocabulary

Use the adjective captivated to describe someone who is utterly charmed by something.

A captivated student is enthralled by her teacher's history lesson, and a captivated audience is involved in every word spoken on stage during a play.

Similarly, you can use synonyms of captivated as well. Examples: charmed, delighted, enthralled, entranced, enchanted.

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