Grabbing Your Audience’s Attention

January 14, 2008

Motivating and inspiring speechesstick figure.jpg start with a powerful introductory statement. One that connects with the audience and leads them to believe what they are about to hear is very important to them.

You do this by answering two fundamental questions they are all thinking. One: Why am I listening to this? Two: How can I use this information?

If you are keynoting a small conference or leading a sales seminar, a common misstep is to open by reintroducing yourself following the MC’s introduction of you.

The MC’s introduction should not only introduce your name and title to the audience, but also establish you as a credible expert in this field or on your topic. For example:

Our next speaker made headlines when he was hired by XYZ Corp. to revitalize its corporate sales department. Within three years under his leadership, XYZ went from the world’s eighth largest automaker to third. Here to share his secrets, please help me welcome, XYZ’s VP of Sales, John Smith.

An MC introduction like that allows John Smith to go right into the speech with an introduction that would paint a vivid picture in the audience’s mind of a common problem sales team’s struggle with and how he inspired his sales team to work together to overcome those problems.

If John’s introduction fails to grab the audience’s attention, he loses most of them for good.

Therefore, whatever powerful points he may have in the body of his speech or in the conclusion will have little impact on them if any at all.

While the introduction aims to grab their attention and inspire them to listen, the body of the speech aims to keep them engaged all the way through to the conclusion. The conclusion reinforces the main point and inspires them with a call to action.



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