In the first 15 seconds of any speech, we either captivate our audience from the start or lose them forever. Here are a few opening techniques to make sure you grab your listeners’ attention as soon as you begin:
1. Ask A Question. Yes or no questions are the easiest to answer. Thus, they generate an immediate reaction from the audience. Open questions can also be asked. However, they should be kept simple and light so the audience can answer it easily and feel involved.
Example: By simply raising their hands, the audience is immediately engaged in the presentation, and the question has created a real desire to hear what the speaker has to say.
2. Make a Statement. Starting the presentation with a bold statement is a sure-fire way to have an impact on your audience from the beginning.
Example: Here, the speaker gives alarming statistics about bullying in the USA that should prompt the listeners to pay attention.
3. Create a Scenario. The goal here is to help the listeners project themselves through your story, right from the beginning.
Example: This video shows how the speaker invites his audience on a journey to imagine having the ability to time travel.
To learn more about how to captivate your audience right away, participate in the YES YOU CAN public speaking skills training.
Photo/Video Credits: Bruce Friedrich (2010) , Belmont Speech Lab (2008) , TED - Deb Roy (2011)