CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – APRIL 21, 2021
HOW TO START A SPEECH WITH POWER AND CONFIDENCE
An amazing or shocking fact –
- “Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead from the food that they eat.” – Jamie Oliver, TED Talk
- “I’m talking to you about the worst form of human rights violation, the third-largest organized crime, a $10 billion industry. I’m talking to you about modern-day slavery.” – Sunitha Krishnan, TED Talk
A joke –
- “Good morning. How are you? It’s been great, hasn’t it? I’ve been blown away by the whole thing. In fact, I’m leaving.” – Ken Robinson, TED Talk
- “Okay, now I don’t want to alarm anybody in this room, but it’s just come to my attention that the person to your right is a liar.” – Pamela Mayer, TED Talk
By evoking an image –
- “Imagine, if you will — a gift. I’d like for you to picture it in your mind. It’s not too big — about the size of a golf ball.” -Stacey Kramer TED Talk
- “Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack. It sounds scary. Well I had a unique seat that day. I was sitting in 1D.” – Ric Elias, TED Talk
All of these speech beginnings get the audience connected and ready to listen. And a great opening line allows you to settle into your speech so that you can shine.
It feels a little scary cutting to the chase rather than dwelling on niceties. But you will have far more impact if you draw people into your talk immediately. And the audience will have heard the same bland introductions over and over again, so you’re actually doing them a favor by getting straight to the point!
3. Starting a speech: Telling your story
Start a speech with a compelling introduction to a story is a powerful way to begin. Even the driest of subjects can be brought to life through storytelling. Think about what drives you to do what you do. Has there been a pivotal moment in your life or career that led you to this moment? Did someone tell you that you’d never be able to do what you are doing now? Or can you paint a picture of a person you’ve helped, or want to help – what does that look like?
Stories can immediately connect you with your audience and set the tone for the whole talk. And people are far more likely to listen to, remember and share your speech if it’s rooted in a strong story, rather than stuffed with facts and theory.
4. Starting a speech: Trying different approaches
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few different ways to begin your speech, it’s time to try them out. It’s a bit like choosing a new item of clothing – it might look good on the hanger but it’s not until you try it on that you know whether it’s the right fit for you. By saying the opening lines out loud, you’ll get a feel for which ones are right for you.
Having said that, it’s important to challenge yourself to do something different, which may feel a little uncomfortable at first. One of the best ways to find out how your speech is likely to go down with the audience is to get independent, expert advice. The opportunity to explore and experiment with different styles in a safe environment is a huge benefit to our clients at Ginger. Our experienced coaches provide affirming feedback to help people understand and develop their strengths while challenging them to be even more ambitious with their speaking. If you feel like you are playing it a bit safe, then have a look at our training options so we can help you speak with more impact.