Coaching speakers and comics, I give the opening the most attention. Openings are hard! Why? Because often you're walking into a room full of people who are already busy doing something (web surfing, texting, ordering drinks, flirting, etc. ) where you - and your topic - are not included.
-- how do you grab an audience's attention when they have a complete
entertainment center on their phone? And how do you get an audience of
complete strangers to focus on your message?
Here is the secret -- open with their favorite topic: THEM!
In my book, "The Message of You," I have an exercise where I ask readers to phone a few people who are going to be in their audience and ask them, "For you, what are some problems that happen on a bad day?"
just mentioning some of those problems at the start of your speech or
standup act is a sure fire way to engage everyone -- especially if you
do it with some humor.
One quick way to do this is to put the
audiences' problem into the "List of Three" formula: general problem,
general problem, their specific problem.
are a lot of problems in the world, like terrorism (general),
tornadoes (general), and cafeterias that are always out of spoons
(their specific problem)."
You'll get their attention - and get them to laugh.
Do you have more ideas on how to use this formula? Post with your "List of Three" on my and the top 5 funniest will get a free download of "How to Create Observational Humor."