Back in my days of reporting, we were told “Don’t Bury the Lead!” That means grab the attention of the viewer/listener right up front. Give ‘em the goods…just enough to keep them watching/listening.
It’s important to capture your audience’s attention within the first 30 seconds of a presentation. Here’s some ideas for you to GRAB your audience’s attention.
Tell a story. Not just any story. Something that considers who your audience is and what THEIR purpose is for listening to you. Yes, be dramatic. Tell the story like you were reading a book to a child! Don’t be mundane. Then, launch into your key messages.
State an interesting fact or statistic. Hold your horse. It has to be a BOLD statistic that shocking or revelatory. It really needs to be something that impacts and intrigues your audience to want to know more.
Begin with a quote. Of course the quote must mean something to your bigger picture and resonate with your audience. More than saying the quote, you must say it with passion. Say it using the 3T’s: Tone, Tempo and Tenor.
Emphatically deliver your Bottom Line Up Front. (B.L.U.F.) This technique allows you to tell your audience what to expect in your presentation. It tees you up for success.
However you decide to open, make sure you open with outrageous energy. Establishing common ground is essential! Even if the audience isn’t giving you good face, I guarantee that with a strong, clear, clean opening the audience will ultimately respond positively.
Coming full circle from those reporting days, I can say without question that it a strong lead engages the audience and sets the stage for you to Rock IT!