When I attended James Malinchak’s BootCamp a few months ago, one of many things he did to grab our attention was to ‘cast the net’ during the introduction. Those are his words. His introductory material was designed to bring the audience into the fold and immediately build a rapport with us. And, there is no doubt that it worked.

  • When you create your introduction, do you consider your audience in your opening remarks?
  • Do you tailor your material around their needs as you ‘cast the net’ to become more intimate with them?
  • Malinchak continued to enfold the audience by moving throughout the various sections of the hall and interacting with his listeners, seeking their agreement with his words.

    Part of this speaker’s success is that he treats his audience as if he was talking to a group of people in his living room. His approach was conversational which is something I stress in my articles as well as in teaching public speaking skills.

    If you want your audience to ‘stay tuned’ for the development of your speech or presentation, bring them into the fold by:

    1. Grabbing their attention with your opening remarks by means of a joke, a question, a brief story or a quote each of which must be pertinent to your topic;
    2. Interacting with them – not talking at them;
    3. Speaking in a conversational style;
    4. Remaining energized; and,
    5. Getting them to agree with your thoughts by keeping your remarks positive – not negative.

    An audience that is in agreement with you from the beginning of your speech or presentation will be much more likely to stay connected with you, keeping their focus on you throughout your delivery.

    When you speak for 40, 50, or even 90 minutes, it is imperative that you enthuse your listeners throughout, not just in your opening because the ‘heart’ or ‘meat’ of your material is in your development and that is where you are going to teach them, inspire them and/or sell them with your words, your ideas, or your products.

    Your public speaking career depends not only on having the attention of your audience but getting referrals from them as well. It will be faster for your success if you can build on the recommendations of others. An audience that feels connected to you personally will be more than willing to refer you in the future.

    In short, when creating your material, focus on grabbing them with your opening, motivating them in the development, and moving them to action with your closing words.

    Author's Bio: 

    The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To get started improving your presentation skills, click Voice Training and Presentation Skills for Nancy's free ebook.