Ya know that moment when you’re at a cocktail party (…or insert school function, park play date or other less exciting activity if you’re like me!) and you meet someone new. She seems fun, interesting, and definitely someone you could see yourself getting a drink with. Instantly, you know you’ve met a new friend.
Wouldn’t it be great if your entire audience felt that way about you from the moment you met them? From your first spoken line up there on stage?
Your opener is arguably the most important part of your entire speech. It’s your chance to convince the audience to commit to sticking with you for the rest of the presentation (and resist the urge to check email or daydream about what’s for lunch). It’s also your opportunity to get some likes (the in person kind).
Today, I’ll share with you just one quick and simple tip that will help you start your speech off with a bang. In fact, it’s so ridiculously simple to implement that I bet it’ll surprise you!
First, let’s get clear on what your opener does and doesn’t do.
Your opener is sooooo important. It is more than just the start of your speech. It’s your opportunity to do the following…
You might already know that the best way to convince the audience that they should stick with you – and that you have content worth listening to – is to start off by saying something interesting (as opposed to starting off by, say, stating your name or topic).
But…. what are your slides saying?
One common mistake I see (that turns an otherwise interesting opener into a dud) is putting up a title slide when you should be creating suspense, interest and desire to hear more.
What’s the point of crafting the perfect story, full of suspense and mystery to start off with if you’re posting a large slide behind your head that completely ruins all of that mystery? It’s a distraction, and a buzz kill.
As promised, there is a ridiculously simple tip to eliminate this problem and start your speech off with a bang.
Simply start your slide show with a blank slide – completely black.
Put this black slide as your first slide, before the title slide.
This let’s you and your cleverly crafted opener shine vs. letting the distracting and mystery killing title slide to take center stage.
It let’s you make a connection with your audience right from the beginning. And that’s really what speaking is all about. That’s why you do that, rather than just write your blog. So the audience can get to know you. Connect with you. Like you. Love you!
And it’s so ridiculously simple. Yet, so powerful.
I want to know from you, what’s your tip for starting your speech off right? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Sandy empowers the young and talented to increase their power and influence by improving their ability to be heard and be clear. She does this by providing access to rigorously tested research in the communication, psychology, and marketing fields.