Why Speakers Need a Strong, Fast Start…

is the way Denise Graveline titled a post about getting started with a presentation at The Eloquent Woman. Scott Berkun is the first speaker she cites with this extract from Confessions of a Public Speaker.

There is a moment at every movie, symphony and lecture, right before the show starts, when the entire audience goes silent…This is called the hush over the crowd, but really it’s the moment when the crowd itself first forms…And when I’m the speaker, I know that special moment is the only time I will have the entire audience’s full attention….What defines how well I’ll do starts with how I use the power of that moment. The balance rests on a bigger question: how will I keep people’s attention after that moment is gone?

That describes pretty well how I feel about the first few moments of a speech. You’ve got only a short time to capture the attention of your audience and focus it. Time you spend repeating what the Toastmaster could have said in your introduction or the objectives your Speech Evaluator has already mentioned is time you can’t use to make a strong case for what you think or what you feel.

Click through to read the rest of Denise’s argument and to find four suggestion for ways you can start a speech.


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