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Best SPEAKING Tip: How to Start a Speech, Talk, Presentation with The Perfect Opening?


It occurred to me that one of the things that terrifies people when they speak is… starting what they are going to say.

You’re at a meeting and you need to give an impromptu presentation… or even a prepared one. And you get stuck…. right at the beginning. What do you do…?

Hi… I’m Bryan Toder, The No Fear Guy, and I’m here with a great speaking tip on how to start a talk.

First, this isn’t for a truly prepared talk, like a keynote speech. That, you should really know what you’re going to say.

But, for the impromptu talk, wedding toast, business announcement… or anytime when you aren’t going to have something memorized, one of the immediate roadblocks is not knowing what to say first.

The person stands there with the mic, hems and haws, shifts their weight, clears their throat and makes a couple of false starts.

Look, we’ve all been there.

Here’s how to fix that. Start with a headline.

In advertising, the headline is the attention-getter. It’s what gets you to read that article, that Facebook post and go see that movie.

Headlines are everywhere. If your friend says, “Hey! I’m hungry… let’s eat!” It’s a headline. It gets your attention.

So, let’s say you are giving a wedding toast. Instead of hemming and hawing or even coming up with a memorized “speech” that will get you all nervous because you need to remember it…

…what if you had one line to remember… the headline… and then you spoke from your heart.

First, do the “Stop & Scan“… then something like, “I remember Mike when we were kids and girls were yucky…” and then talk about that. A story that you know about Mike.

Or let’s say you need to give a short presentation to the boss and co-workers. Instead of saying, “Thanks… the prospect for this is looks great, but if we improve the production quality of the framerstams…”

…which is how most people talk, start with a headline. Maybe, “I have in my hand the one thing that we need for the coming year to increase revenue by 50 percent!”

Well, THAT would get someone’s attention, right?

Do you see what I mean by do a headline as your first line in a talk?

Now, the trick is to have a good one. Write out about 15 to 20. It’s what most copywriters do; no one just writes one headline and sticks with it.

Make 15 to 20 and then choose a good one.

Make it short and memorize it. Then, after you deliver the headline, just talk. Talk like you are talking on the phone.

Just talk about what you know.

If you know the bride and groom, just talk about them. Do you NEED a memorized speech to talk about your best friend and his new wife? Probably not.

If you know your topic and you’re delivering information to the boss, just talk. People like that. It’s a great communication style.

I’m Bryan Toder, The No Fear Guy

What do you think? Tell me in the comment box below and we’ll meet again on the next Fearless Friday.