“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.”
– Dianna Booker, communication expert.
The first 20 seconds of your speech are crucial to winning over your audience. And 20 seconds is all it takes to lose their interest.
How often have you opened your presentation with: “Good morning…”, “Hello everyone. My name is…”, or “Thank you for inviting me to…”?
If the answer is more than once, then it is time to work on the opening lines of your presentation. Grab your listeners’ attention. Inspire them. Pique their interest. Shock or surprise them. Make them think with these 15 intro lines.
1. Pose a question
Questions are an intriguing way to engage your listeners. You can either seek an answer that pertains to the topic you’re sharing and follow it up with a show of hands to engage your audience further. Alternatively, ask a question that has your audience thinking…”I want to know why he’s asking me this…”
2. Ask them to imagine
Remember the post where you were asked to do a John Lennon? Ask your attendees to visualise something. A scenario related to the topic on hand.
3. WOW THEM WITH A statistic
Borrow celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver’s idea for jaw-dropping opening statements. Share a shocking but true statistic directly related to your chosen theme.
4. State your point
Instead of forcing people to wear their thinking caps, get straight to the point with your introduction. Tell them what you’re going to talk about and why.
5. Build momentum
When you’re presenting about a specific personal or professional experience, build momentum by narrating a story. Make it as vivid as possible to keep your audience engrossed.
Does your opening line surprise listeners? Stay tuned for more examples in this 3-part series.