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Your Presentation’s opening 7 seconds

These are critical to capture your audience’s attention.

My good friend Alan Stevens of the Media Coach recently wrote this. It was so perfect I thought I would share it with my readership


The first line of your speech is crucially important. It may be the only line that every member of your audience hears, so it needs to be good. The more engaging it is, the more people will listen to the rest of your speech. If you’ve done your homework well, you will know what interests them. It won’t be the same for every audience, so don’t just have one option.

Firstly, here’s what not to do:

  • Tell them your name. They know that already.
  • Say how glad you are to be there. That’s a given.
  • Start with a joke. You don’t need me to tell you why not.
  • List your credentials. They will already have seen your bio.
  • Tell them how funny your speech is. If you do, it won’t be.
  • Make fun of them. It’s OK to make fun of yourself, not your audience.

Now we’ve got that out the way, what are some positive openers? Here are a few ideas, with examples:

  • An intriguing promise “You will improve your memory by 10% in the next hour”
  • Something contrary to popular wisdom “The Internet is finished…”
  • A puzzle “How could you find the secret of success?”
  • A simple piece of value “Three simple steps to double your business this year”

Of course, you have to deliver what you promised. Remember you have give something of value every time you speak. Tell people right at the start what it will be, and you will grab their attention.

If you want to become a confident and effective networker, why not investing in one of our face-to-face or online courses? Alternatively, if you found these tips useful, we have hundreds more on our website.

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