The Power of Your Opening – Unleash the Potential of the First 30 Seconds

Have you ever marveled at the energy that surges through a room when a speaker begins with just the right words? A room full of individuals, each one different, yet all captivated by the magic that unfolds in those first precious moments of a speech. For decades I have invested time exploring the ideas, formulas, and disciplines behind crafting the perfect presentation. The first 30 seconds of your presentation are not just a beginning; they’re a journey, an invitation, a challenge.

In my recent book with Darren LaCroix and Mark Brown, “Deliver Unforgettable Presentations,” we delve into the different techniques that you can incorporate to make your opening powerful, persuasive, and unique. The possibilities are endless, and here are some suggestions that will intrigue and engage your audience right from the start.

  1. A Story: Share a tale of triumph, mentorship, or personal growth. Audiences love stories. Your story can be that spark that ignites their imagination and connects them with you. What is deeply personal is also universal.
  2. Interesting Statistics or Little-Known Facts: Begin with something unexpected. “Would it amaze you to know that 90% of speakers miss the opportunity to captivate their audience in the first minute?” That’s right; a little surprise can go a long way. The true secret of using an interesting statistic or little-known fact is to add an emotion. Interest, surprise, shock, or amaze.
  3. A Powerful Quotation: A well-chosen quote can resonate deeply with your audience. Share wisdom from someone who has influenced you and tie it to your point rather than a well-known quote. For example, from one of my presentations…” As my father pushed me out the front door for my first day of work he told me, “Patricia, in our career do not concentrate on making a lot of money. Rather work to become the type of person others want to do business with and you most likely will make a lot of money.”
  4. A Question: Engage directly by asking something like, “How often have you struggled oh capture your audience’s attention?” Notice how often, not just have you. If the situation you mention has happened more than once, they need your advice more. Questions will help the audience reflect on their experiences and engage with your message.
  5. A Challenge: Set a tone of aspiration by challenging your audience. “I challenge you to embrace the techniques we’ll explore to become a more compelling communicator.” A challenge is expected at the end of your presentation however you can also begin with a challenge for your audience to take action, give them information to be in a position to take action, and restate your challenge near the close.

Are you beginning to see how the choice of your opening can shape the entire experience of your presentation? With these suggestions and more, I invite you to invest in “Deliver Unforgettable Presentations.” Unlock the power within you to captivate, engage, and inspire from the very first word.  The book will help you explore more of the techniques that will transform your ability to speak and connect,

This is Part One

Stay tuned for Part Two, where we will continue to explore the world of engaging speech openings, including intriguing headlines, bold claims, heartfelt compliments, and the fine art of relevant humor. Together, we’ll uncover the strategies that will make you not just a speaker, and also a storyteller, a leader, and a guide.

“Patricia Fripp is amazing. As a speech coach, you’ll never find anyone with her wisdom, experience, and ability. Once I began to work with her, she improved my speaking style immediately. Her ability to listen to what her clients want to say and instantly give them the right words to use is incredible. Patricia can take an average presentation and quickly transform it to become great.” Bhavin Shah, CEO & Founder, Moveworks.


Shep Hyken rehearsing Fripp, Darren, Mark’s advice
Fords Saeks loves Deliver Unforgettable Presentations

Need help for you or your team on improving important conversations and presentations? The Fripp Customized Approach will work for you. Contact Fripp today!