Today, I’m going to share with you 3 killer ways to start any speech or presentation. So, if you have a presentation for work coming up and you are already starting to sweat, this is the place to hang out.



3 Great ways to make a killer opener for your speech:

1) Powerful Stories engage the visual cortex. Start collecting useful stories to engage your audience

2) the Bounce Question. This is the best way to get FAST engagement and a solid YES in the minds of your audience.

3) Strong Statistic. When using this tactic you draw the audience in with a WOW factor that makes them think.



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We all need to deliver a speech or presentation from time to time and many people are really nervous about doing it. In fact, this is why many of my students actually sign up for training with me – to prepare for a special speech or a presentation. 

The opener of your speech is the most important part of the whole presentation for 2 reasons: 

  1. The 10 Second Rule: Because you have about 10 seconds to capture the attention of your audience before they tune out! 
  2. Nerves: Because when you first begin any speech is when you feel the most nervous. 

So today I’m going to share with you 3 Killer ways to start a speech that will help you feel more confident and relaxed once you are in front of that audience. 


1.   Opener: A Personal Story  .

Our brains are wired for stories. Even before the written word, verbal stories have been passed down from generation to generation. A story is a really powerful way to press home a point or plant a seed. I learned the powerful impact a story could have back when I was just 18 years old. I was a pregnant teenager standing in front of a room full of Catholic Nuns who were educating youths on the strict rules of no sex before marriage. Can you imagine how hard it was for me as a pregnant teenager to stand in front of 100 nuns and speak about my own experience of being an outcast teen in such a difficult situation? There I was, standing there in front of all those eyes… judging me… looking at my very pregnant stomach… I realized at that moment, that telling my story from my personal perspective, was a powerful tool to help them see things in a different light. If anything, it certainly gave them something to think about that day, and that is the true power of a good story. It’s to make people THINK, to get into their heads. So, pull together a few of your best life stories and try them out, just like I did. 


2.   A Bounce Question 

A Bounce Question is a really great way to open a speech and many of the most famous speakers and influencers do this on stage and on video at the very start of their presentation but make sure it’s not an open-ended question that the audience needs to think about too much. This is an example of the wrong kind of question: “Imagine what it would be like to have so much money that you didn’t have to work anymore”. THAT is a question that takes the audience off into their own minds and doesn’t give them specific direction or focus! So, what I want you to do instead is to practice a Bounce Question. A bounce question is an inferred YES question. Something you KNOW your audience is going to agree with, and say YES in their own minds.

Here is an example of a Bounce Question: “Have you ever been so tired in the morning that you slept through your alarm, woke up in a panic and realizing you were late for work? Stressful huh?” See? In other words, any question that you KNOW most people will answer YES to inside their own head is a bounce question and it’s a really great way to get an audience on side FAST. 


3. A Strong Statistic 

Did you know that 72.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot? Just kidding.

 A strong way to start a speech or a presentation is to make a provocative statement or quote a statistic. Jamie Oliver, the Celebrity Chef from England did this really well a few years ago during his first Ted talk. Jaimie walked on stage and started his speech like this: Sadly in the next 18 minutes while I am talking to you, four Americans that are now alive will be dead from the food that they eat”. That was a very provocative and interesting way to grab people’s attention in the first 10 seconds.


 So, if you are preparing for a speech soon, use these three tips to help you structure the opening passages and you are well on your way to giving a killer speech or presentation. 

Remember to practice over and over until you get it right then you won’t be so nervous on the day you need to deliver your speech! Get it into muscle memory.