The first few minutes in front of the audience are crucial. The more enticing you are the more they will be captivated to hear what you have to say.
Being able to share an event and then twist the ending can draw them in. For example, you may share a story by starting with, “Imagine if…” and at the end you say, “Now what if that was true. What if I told you that was what happened to me.” This way you have brought them in to the story, let them experience it as though it is happening to them and then let them know it is a true story and it happened to you.
Take an everyday occurrence and relate it to what you are talking about. This moves them from fighting against what you are saying to seeing the logic of it. The ironic part is that they “see” this logic because they “felt” it in your opening.
An example of this would be “In America we put stoplights at intersections and you have to wait to get the green light so your side can go. In Italy they have roundabouts. So when you hit a spot where four or more roads come together in the middle is a circle. You drive around the circle until you come to the road you need to exit on and you just continue driving. With the Italian roundabout you never have to stop and you can circle as many times as you want until you get the correct direction.
In the past our projects have been run like American stoplights where you have waited for the green light to go. Now we will be running them like the Italian roundabouts where you will see continuous movement and many areas coming together for a brief time before they all branch out. Today what I am here to talk about is how this new process will work, why we are doing it and how it will benefit you.”
Learn more about openings. Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Structure Your Message so They Hear It has a lot of examples on openings, closings and everything in between for structuring your message to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.