Unlock the Magic of Engaging Openings – Techniques 6 to 11

Your ability to engage an audience is more than just a technique; it’s a disciplined approach that weaves together various elements to create a captivating experience.

Following up from part one The Power of Your Opening – Unleash the Potential of the First 30 Seconds, discussed 5 opening techniques from 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.

Now in part two, we’ll explore more opening techniques to enrich your repertoire and command your audience’s attention.

  1. Tie to the Headlines: By weaving current events into your introduction, you demonstrate a connection between your content and the world at large. Ask, “Did you have time to read The New York Times this morning? The headline about economic growth ties directly to our discussion today.” The freshness of the news adds a layer of relevance and immediacy.
  2. Bold Claim or Big Promise: Elevate expectations with a striking claim. “In the next 30 minutes, you will gain insights that might have taken years to acquire on your own.” A bold promise must be matched with equally impressive delivery, lest it falls flat. Promise big, but deliver bigger.

8. Read a Letter, Email, or Review: Share an authentic piece of communication that adds depth             to your message. My brother, Robert Fripp, wonderfully demonstrates this by reading a critical                 review and humorously dissecting it. Real-life material lends credibility and can infuse humor or               poignancy as needed.

  1. Compliment the Audience: Warm the room with sincere admiration. “I’m truly honored to be here with the most innovative minds in the technology sector.” Compliments should be genuine and relevant to forge a real connection.
  2. Relevant Humor: Humor is a double-edged sword. While it can lighten the mood and engage your audience, it must be used wisely. As my co-author Darren LaCroix suggests, “Find real-life humor and amplify it with exaggeration.” Be cautious, as not all jokes land well.
  3. A Rhetorical Question: Pose a question to provoke thought without expecting an answer. “What would you accomplish if you could master the art of persuasion?” Be prepared to continue smoothly without a response, while allowing the question to linger in their minds.

Remember, your opening is not merely an introduction; it’s the threshold to a memorable and educational experience. With these ideas, techniques, and suggestions, you have the power to transport your audience into the heart of your message and leave a lasting impression.

Whether it’s a heartfelt compliment, a bold claim, or a relevant piece of humor, each method has its unique appeal. What remains common is the intention to connect, inspire, and ignite curiosity.

Take these tools, experiment, refine them, and make them your own. Here’s to your next unforgettable presentation!


Shep Hyken rehearsing new ideas from Deliver Unforgettable Presentations