As an executive speech coach and public speaking trainer for executives and professional motivational speakers, here is some of the advice I give. To grab audience attention and be remembered and repeated, start the presentation with a bang, not a limp, "Thanks, it's nice to be here." The first (and last) 30 seconds have the most impact on the audience. Save any greetings and gratitude until they've already grabbed the audience with a powerful opening. And don't end with a whimper. Remember that last words linger. Unfortunately, many speakers close with, "Are there any questions?" Wrong! Instead, say, "Before I close, what are your questions?" Answer them. Then close on a high note. Always look at your opening remarks to see if you can tie it together in a circular way. When I addressed the American Cemetery Association my opening story was about when my mother died. Don’t worry! It was upbeat. Mother had a great life and lived long enough to see both her children successful. My opening line was, “What do you say about a woman who wanted everyone to wear bright red at her funeral?” The close was my brother’s experience when she died. He wrote about it on the liner notes of a CD called “Tears of Angels.” “Life is what we are given, Life is what we do with it…………….”
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Thank you for your kind comments! Fripp