Have you been taught to open communications by “telling people what you’re going to tell them?”
Want a better way to motivate people to listen?
Imagine you’ve been asked to speak to college grads about how to land a job. You could start with your credentials; however, they probably read your bio in the program brochure, so that’s a waste of their time. You could jump right into your how-to’s, but that doesn’t engage an audience because it’s still a one-way lecture.
A better way to have people at hello and EARN their favorable attention is to create a DIALOGUE (not a monologue) by asking questions that introduce something startlingly relevant they don’t know or expect … in the first 60 seconds. For example:
Did you know that:
* of the 3.6 million job openings last year, 80 % were never advertised?
* 118 people (on average) apply for any given job and only 20% get interviews?
* in 2014 in the U.S., 53.6% of bachelor’s degree holders under the age of 25 were jobless or under-employed?
Imagine if you could:
* Find out about quality jobs that are never advertised?
* Increase the likelihood of getting a job interview this week?
* Discover 7 proven ways to stand out from the crowd and give yourself a competitive edge in today’s saturated job market?
You don’t have to imagine it. You’ll do all the above in our time together, plus hear true success stories of grads just like you who had almost given up but landed their dream job as a result of these techniques.
Isn’t that more interesting than telling people what you’re going to tell them? Here’s how to craft an intro that has people at hello..
Sam Horn’s Three Steps to Crafting an Intro that Has People at Hello
1. Open with 3 questions that introduce startling statistics or facts your listeners don’t know – but would like to know – about the:
* Scope of the problem you’re solving.
* Urgency of the issue you’re addressing.
* Dramatic shift in the trend or topic you’re discussing.
Are you thinking, “Where do I find these startling statistics or surprising facts? You GTS – GOOGLE THAT STUFF. Just enter the following questions into your favorite search engine:
* What are shocking statistics about ____________ (your subject?)
* What are changing trends in ________ (your industry or profession?)
* What is recent research about _____ (the problem you’re solving?)
* What is startling news about _____ (the issue you’re addressing?)
Up will come insights and studies even YOU didn’t know about. And if you’re an expert, and this info gets your eyebrows up (a sure sign of curiosity) it’s likely to get your audience’s eyebrows up too.
2. Use the word IMAGINE linked with 3 aspects/benefits of your program that everyone in your audience would find appealing.
* The word IMAGINE causes people to picture your point and see what you’re saying. They’re now fully engaged instead of thinking about what they’re going to have for lunch.
* By verbally painting the ideal scenario your program delvers; everyone is on the edge of their mental seat eager to hear more because they’re thinking, “Sounds good. Who wouldn’t want that?!”
3. Say, “You don’t have to imagine it…” and then offer real-world evidence showing how your program has already produced tangible results so audience members know this isn’t “too good to be true;” they can trust it (and you) because it has a successful track record and has helped people just like them get the results they want.
Best yet, all the above can be condensed into a succinct 60 second opening.
While other presenters are still telling their audience what they’re going to tell them (aka INFObesity) – you’ve already set up two-way communication by asking instead of telling. You’re earned everyone’s favorable attention because you’ve introduced insights that made them smarter than they were a minute … a wonderful way to win buy-in.
Want more ways to craft intros that have people at hello? Watch this TEDx talk which both models and teaches Sam’s 60 second approach to openings. You also might want to check out this related article which shows why NEVER to give an elevator speech.
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Sam Horn is on a mission to help people create more compelling, collaborative communications that add value for all involved. This is excerpted from her Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? which has been featured in Forbes, INC and Fast Company and presented to NASA, Accenture and National Geographic.