Chapter 3: Developing Compelling Presentations
More Tips on Developing Your Introduction:
- After getting your audience's attention, provide a preview of what you're going to talk about, and tell them why the information is important to them.
- Select quotations that are appropriate for your audience.
- Use short sentences in your introduction.
- Develop an outline that includes sentences and phrases to help you remember important information.
- Don't open your speech with an apology or excuse such as "I'm so nervous," "I got this invite at the last minute," that sets a poor tone. Take charge!
- Dedicate only 30-seconds for your introduction for a 5-minute speech.
- Relate your topic to your audience. "Look to your left, look to your right. Do you realize that one of those people will not be walking down the aisle at graduation time?"
Closing Your Speech with a Memorable Kicker
Though people generally forget much of what they hear in a speech, you can improve your odds with a powerful opener and a memorable close. As with the opener, you need to close with a mission.
The last 3 to 5 minutes are critical to how your speech is perceived; so it's essential that you:
- Provide your audience with clues so they know you're about to close;
- CTA or Call to Action by telling listeners specifically what you need them to do or what actions you want them to take right now—this is especially important in a persuasive speech; and
- Make a lasting impression so your message sticks in their brains.