07Mar

Open Your Show Before You Open Your Show

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As you wait for that next speaker to come to the front of the room have you ever thought to yourself “I hope this isn’t going to be boring?”

Have you ever found yourself as an audience member mentally checking out and now it becomes the job of the speaker to win you back?

As the speaker – is your audience ready for the mental shifting of gears that is about  to take place?

How can you best prepare your audience  and  have  them sitting up on the edge of their  seats before you even get started?

Let’s look at how a typical episode of the TV show “CSI” gets you hooked and waiting to see what happens next.

Two people are arguing inside an apartment throwing things at each other screaming at the top of their lungs… the scene cuts to a view outside the apartment building … and you hear 4 gunshots go off… you see  bright flashes from a gun blasting in the 4th floor window.

The scene cuts again to the  CSI Crime Detective… walking into the crime scene with his flashlight asking the first officer on the scene for introduction to the victims.

There are 2 victims both shot once no culprit and no weapon. A classic case of who-dunnit and the music starts “Whoooo are you? Who-who? Who-who?”

As the viewer what does this do for you?

You have been well- transitioned from where- ever your head is at and now you are not just ready  but curious about what happens next.

Can you make the same kind of impact with your audience within the first few seconds of your speech? How can you immediately bring your audience into your scene as an introduction to your speech?

Here are two great ways to open your show before you open your show.

  • Have a great introduction that tells the audience what they are about to receive before you are even at the front of the room. A few great questions that gets them thinking about their own lives along with some very clear “what’s in it for them” statements  will have your audience primed and ready for the rest of your presentation.
  • Open with a story. When you jump right into a story you separate yourself from other speakers who normally spend time thanking the audience instead of capturing their interest. When you start with a great story that you invite your audience into they will be feeling “wow this is different – maybe I should listen”.

When you have a great you focused introduction and or immediately jump into a story you now have an audience that is pleasantly surprised and now eagerly anticipating your every word.


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