Hello Good Morning my name is Jacqueline and today I’m going to talk to you about...
Are you still awake or did you just switch off?
The sad fact is many speakers completely lose their audience within the first couple of sentences of their presentation. They follow a predictable and unimaginative start to their talk. Of course your audience would like to know your name and what your talk is going to be about but there are far more imaginative ways to get this across than following the traditional ‘Hello and Good Morning’ approach.
One of the best ways to start a talk is to make a very bold statement. Compare the impact of
‘Today I am going to talk to you about the growing problem of obesity in the UK’
‘By 2050 50% of the population of the UK will be obese’
Follow the second statement by a significant pause and the audience will be left contemplating the implications of these words.
Another way to begin a talk is to ask a question and preferably one that most of your audience will be eager to get the answer to or one what they will nod in agreement with.
- ‘Who in this room today would like to solve the issue of getting small children to sleep without the nightly routine of tantrums and tears?’
- ‘How many of you would like to see an increase in your income by 25% in the next 6 months?’
- ‘How many of you are sick and tired of trying yet another diet?’
The introduction to your speech is your chance to form a first impression with your audience, within the first couple of minutes they will be deciding if you are going to be worth listening to or not.
As the saying goes, ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ so make sure it’s a good one!