“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.”
― Blaise Pascal, French philosopher.
Your opening line can define or mar your presentation.
Based on the impact of these words, your audience will either warm up to the rest of your speech or remain ambivalent to what you are saying.
When thinking about your opening, try to decide if you want to catch their attention, make them curious, motivate them to act and inspire them to change. By understanding this before you start writing your opening, you’ll be better placed to capture and hold their attention.
This post brings you five more interesting opening ideas for inspiration.
An intriguing statement or story can evoke interest in even the most tuned-out audience members. Using pauses to your advantage is also key here. A pause in between or after powerful words leaves them holding onto every word…
7. Affirm Problem
Begin your presentation by stating the problem – one that needs an adequate solution or fast resolution. This method works for business presentations as well as speeches on generic/regular topics.
8. ‘what If’ Scenario
If you want to provoke your audience to think about and/or relate to your message, add a ‘what if’ to your opening words. This will reframe your message to make it relevant to them personally, which is integral to building connection.
Example topic: Stopping school bullying
What if your son came home for the second time in a week with a cut lip? How would you resolve that situation?
9. VISUALISE YOUR Opening
A stirring image provides direction to your presentation and sets the tone. It acts as a theme builder for your key points, messages or takeaways.
10. Conclude First
Another way to grab attention is to start with the conclusion. This technique is utilised a lot in movies where you will begin with a scene from the end of the movie, then you’ll be taken back to the start to show how this eventuated. This allows you to focus on each point along the way, with your audience keeping the conclusion at front of mind.
Do you think opening statements are important? If you are from the Yes camp, stay tuned for more examples in this final post