How To Start? Try 1 of the Three S’s.

Many speakers struggle with choosing the first words to get their presentation started.  They know what to say, but they can’t figure out the opening sentence (or two) to grab their listener’s attention. 

A few opening gambits that are well-known would be using humor, a prop, or asking a question. 

But sometimes, these don’t work with your material. This is when the three S’s become an option; a story, a shocking statistic, or a startling statement.

Story: by opening with a story, you will draw in your listeners and begin to create a connection with them.  Example: Ric Elias, “Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack. It sounds scary. Well, I had a unique seat that day. I was sitting in 1D.”

 Shocking Statistic: by stating an alarming statistic, you will force your listeners to think about what you said and then keep them focused. Example: Jamie Oliver, “Sadly, in the next 18 minutes…..4 Americans that are alive will be dead through the food that they eat.”

– Startling Statement: make a statement that will cause your listeners to stop and pay attention. Example: Larry Smith, “I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you’re going to fail to have a great career.”