Begin with a Flavor Scene – hmmmmm?

12 Aug

Many of the clients I coach ask me “I just don’t know how to start my talk”?  We have been trained to start with our name and what organization or position we hold in a company.  THAT IS BORING!  You have 5 seconds to capture your audience’s attention and you think saying your name and company will grab them!  Imagine if every movie started with “Today you will be watching”  You must start by grabbing attention.

Begin with a Flavor Scene

Good movies  open with what is called a “flavor scene,” grabbing attention and positioning the audience for what is to come. I relate the first three pages of a movie script to the first thirty seconds of your speech.

Mike Powell, when he was a senior scientist at Genentech, grabbed the interest of a Continental Breakfast Club audience by beginning: “Being a scientist is like doing a jigsaw puzzle, in a snow storm…at night…when you don’t have all the pieces…or the picture you are trying to create.” Everyone sat up and paid attention, they realized that they could understand and relate to the challenges and frustration of a scientist. That immediately proved it would not be a technical presentation.

Your flavor scene doesn’t necessarily have to lead where the audience expects it to, but it should make an impact, and it must tie in to what follows

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