From Ordinary to Extraordinary: 10 Dynamic Ways to Launch Your Presentation
Greetings, my fellow orators! The world we live in today is vastly different from the one we inhabited just a century ago. Our attention spans have dwindled down from about 20 minutes to a mere 9 seconds, which, fascinatingly enough, is the same attention span as that of a goldfish. In this fast-paced, ever-changing environment, one must grasp their audience's attention from the very beginning.
With the above in mind, allow me to share with you 10 tried and tested approaches that have worked well for me to begin an opening statement or closing argument in court or to deliver a memorable keynote speech from the stage.
10 Proven Approaches
#1 Begin with a quote: As the great George Bernard Shaw once said, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." This poignant statement captures the essence of your speech on communication.
#2 Shock them with a statistic: "Within 60 minutes after you finish speaking, a staggering 90% of what you said will be forgotten." A statistic like this highlights the importance of effective communication.
#3 Ask a thought-provoking question: "Do you know what the biggest communication challenge is in today's noisy and busy world? It's probably not what you think!" Intrigue your audience by posing questions that make them ponder.
#4 Share a relevant news item: "Just last night, my effective communication skills landed me a spot on the ABC evening news to discuss the the big landmark defamation jury verdict last week. Would you like to know how I did this?
#5 Narrate a captivating story: "As the opposing counsel stumbled through his closing argument, I knew it was my chance to shine. Using three approaches I'll share with you today, I delivered a powerful closing argument that helped my client win a multi-million dollar verdict. Would you like to know the steps I took to do this?"
#6 Express sincere gratitude or acknowledgment: "Rotary International is a true beacon of community service. Thank you, Bob, for inviting me to share my favorite communication tips at this special event."
#7 Have your audience participate: "There are five essential steps to exceptional communication. Ready your pen and paper, as you'll want to jot these down."
#8 Use humor to lighten the mood: "The mind is truly fascinating – it starts working the moment we're born and only stops when we stand up to speak in public."
#9 Make a bold prediction: "I assure you, by the end of my presentation, these seven tips will boost your persuasive abilities by 25% to 50%."
#10 Employ a poem, rhyme, or metaphor: "Communication is the key to progress, yet my hands tremble as I struggle to turn the key and ignite the engine. Can you relate to this feeling when delivering a speech or presentation?"
Now, it's your turn. Share your favorite approach in the comments, and I may feature it in an upcoming article, giving you full credit.
Remember, the best way to capture an audience's attention is by weaving a tapestry of diverse and captivating techniques. By embracing these ten approaches, you will not only pique your listeners' curiosity but also leave a lasting impression on their minds.
As you continue honing your skills and expanding your toolkit, never forget the power of continuous learning and practice. In this ever-evolving world, where grabbing and maintaining attention is as tricky as trying to catch a slippery fish, the ability to engage and enthrall an audience is truly invaluable.
Happy speaking, and may your words leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of your listeners.
2013 California Litigation Lawyer of the Year