Mistakes Speakers Make: I Have Had to Fight Executives About This

Always Have a Sure-Fire Opening

I’m frequently asked what mistakes most speakers make. One is thinking that once they have prepared their presentation, they don’t need to script and internalize the opening.

Very often I hear professional speakers and executives say, “Oh, when I get there, I’m going to see what’s going on and personalize it.”

You Cannot Rely on Inspiration

Yes, sometimes you get lucky, but you cannot rely on getting the information you need to make a personalized opening. My recommendation is to always be prepared with a presentation opening that you know will work. If you are lucky enough to find an amusing situation that everyone knows about that you can tie into, do that after your planned opening line.

You need to be confident your opening will grab the audience’s attention and arouse their interest. The “what just happened” lines may work well as a second comment. They will not, however, work as word-perfect and well delivered as your scripted and prepared opening.

Remember, always have a sure-fire opening.

“Patricia Fripp is simply the best speaking coach in the world, I’ve sent people to her and I’ve learned from her. She has the unique capacity to adjust to each person’s particular talents to help them create powerful presentations, within a business or publicly. From the boardroom to the “backroom” of any organization, her advice can propel careers, build confidence, and create huge prestige. There is only one thing better than watching this Hall of Fame speaker, and that’s working with her.” Alan Weiss, Ph.D., CPAE, Author of 60 books including Million Dollar Speaking, Million Dollar Consulting, and Great Consulting Challenges.

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