#35 Start your public speaking performances with fire!
Electrifying public speakers are usually great at developing new leads, prospects and IP clients. When you are speaking at the office of your client, at an industry convention or at an IP conference, you are selling your expertise and you are positioning yourself as the expert and authority in the subject you are speaking about. You are closing your audience, even if you are not conscious about it. You are selling your ideas and persuading the audience with your insights.
After every presentation you do, the audience will have a certain perception of you. They might find you insightful, charismatic and intelligent. On the other hand, they might find you dull, unprepared and boring. The former should obviously be your goal.
You have to captivate the attention of your audience right from the beginning. As a public speaker, the attention of your listeners is your currency. If you have it, you will cash out on your speaking opportunity and if you don’t, you will go bust.
In most of the cases the public speaker starts their presentation by introducing themselves. That is not original nor interesting. Don’t get me wrong here; you should definitely introduce yourself but you can do it after you have got the full attention of the audience with your opening.
You may start the presentation by asking your audience a question that is relevant and possibly painful for them. The advantage of asking such question is that it participates your listeners because they have to answer the question in their mind, and in some cases, they will actually answer your question out loud. You could start your presentation by asking for example: “How many of you find it difficult when …X…? Can I see a raise of hands?”
You can also start your presentation by making an outrageous claim. When we hear information or claims that are already crystal-clear to us, we are not paying much attention because we already know the facts and they are in accordance with our belief-systems. If, however, we hear something that contradicts our beliefs, we are going to pay attention because the message is different from the norm. An outrageous claim can start for example by: “Most people in this room have/do/do not…X…”
Storytelling is an integral part of being a human. We love stories. If you have a story that is relevant to the presentation topic and your audience can relate to it, you should definitely consider sharing that story. Your audience can imagine themselves in your story and live through the experience. You can start your presentation by “Let me tell you a story when I …X…”
After the captivating opening, it is your time to introduce yourself. You have the attention of your audience and they are ready and eager to learn more of you and your IP service.
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