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Grabbing And Maintaining Attention

Grabbing And Maintaining Attention

Did you know you only have 30 seconds to capture your audience’s attention and persuade them to listen? When it comes to delivering a killer presentation, the first few seconds are crucial. This is the time when your audience will form an opinion of you. If you waste it with a bad joke, rambling, or meaningless sentences full of “uhs” and “ums,” your listeners’ attention will likely fade, and you may not be able to regain it.

Capturing the audience’s attention right away is a difficult task for any speaker, and it necessitates the creation and practice of an attention-getting opener. But how do you effectively begin a presentation? Introduce yourself with a HOOK!

In this article, we’ll go over some basic presentation tips for making the beginning of your presentation stand out. Don’t be concerned if you’re learning English as a second language. Regardless of your English level, we’ve compiled a list of three tried-and-true attention grabbers to help you start a presentation with confidence and easily hold your audience’s attention.

3 hooks to start a presentation and make an immediate impact
When you begin your speech with banality, you quickly become forgettable, especially if you have a cookie-cutter PowerPoint presentation that you simply drone through. Have you ever sat through a presentation where the presenter begins with the words:

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“Dear listeners, I appreciate your presence. So I prepared a few key points on my subject. We’ll get through them quickly and be out of here in an hour.”

Boredom! Everyone in the room is thinking about their coffee break in 15 minutes, or they are boldly checking their Facebook feed or emails. But how do you begin a presentation introduction in such a way that your listeners are riveted to your words?
Grabbing And Maintaining Attention
A memorable hook or grabber entices listeners to pay attention. People, in fact, have a lot on their minds. Consider that they may have attended several talks that day or a week ago. As a result, you must demonstrate to them right away that your presentation will be interesting. To make an excellent lasting impression from the start, use a brief and catchy hook relevant to your topic.

Here are a few ideas for kicking off a presentation with a bang and making your speech stand out. The best method for you will be determined by your topic and speech type. Let’s look more closely at the most popular presentation hooks.

1. Share a story
A good way to begin a presentation is to tell a compelling story. According to research, the brain is hardwired for storytelling. Have you ever noticed how children start paying attention to their parents after the words “Once upon a time.” That reaction does not go away when we grow up. In fact, people tell stories and share their experiences on a daily basis. As a result, incorporating it into your presentations will be simple. Aside from making a good first impression, starting with a good story can help you find creative ways to communicate the purpose of your presentation. You can incorporate visuals into your presentation or use a video editor to create a quick but effective video within your presentation.

Your story should be brief and pertinent to the point you’re making. But don’t go overboard with details. It could be a personal story that explains why you’re so passionate about the subject. You can also tell a story about someone who can serve as an example for others. If you can make a bold statement or claim with this story, make eye contact, and communicate it confidently, it will pique the listener’s interest (even if they disagree with you).

Darlene Price, author of “Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results!” emphasizes that as a speaker, you can begin a presentation with a wisdom tale, fable, historical event, or even a good joke. The key is to begin with a short story related to the main point of your topic. Price also suggests thinking about the following questions to help you write your own version of “Once Upon a Time”:

What obstacles have you (or someone else) encountered with your message?
How did you (or someone else) overcome it?
Who or what assisted you?
What lessons did you (or someone else) learn?
What do you want your audience to feel or do after hearing your story?
2. Pose rhetorical queries
Start with a question if you’re unsure how to begin a presentation speech. One of the most effective methods is to ask a series of rhetorical questions. Simon Sinek’s TED talk is an excellent example of such techniques. He began his presentation with the following words:

“How do you explain when things don’t go the way we expect? Or, to put it another way, how do you explain it when others accomplish things that appear to defy all of the assumptions? “Why, for example, is Apple so innovative?”

Such a set of questions stimulates the minds of the listeners while they consider the answers. Laura Bergells, a LinkedIn Learning instructor who teaches the course Public Speaking Foundations, advises asking only open-ended questions rather than closed-ended ones with “yes/no” answers. “How has social media changed your daily life?” for example. “Has social media changed your daily life?” is a worse example. Using open-ended questions allows you to create a knowledge gap, which you can then close in your speech. Another great way to engage the audience is to ask for a show of hands on a specific question.

3. Make use of quotations
One amusing way to begin a presentation is to quote a movie. Why? Because it’s enjoyable! Most people’s lives revolve around videos. A well-placed movie quote at the start of your speech, for example, can enliven your audience. Here are a couple of examples:

“Everything is your fault,” says the first rule of leadership. (From Bug’s Life)

“The loudest person in the room is also the weakest person in the room.” (Gangster in America)

“It’s like life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’ll get.” (From Forrest Gump)

Starting a presentation with an opt quote is also a common but effective practice. Speakers in this case state the quotation and then add a twist to it. As an example:

“We’ve all heard that a thousand miles begin with a single step. But we must keep in mind that a journey to nowhere begins with a single step.”

There are numerous online resources for finding appropriate quotations, such as Brainy Quotes and Goodreads. But don’t start with an obvious quote, such as “little strokes fell great oaks.” Try using the following to come up with more creative ways to begin a presentation. “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money,” said Steve Jobs. It is obvious that the most valuable resource we all have is time.”

Go forth and make a difference in the world with your speech!
Remember that the first few seconds of your speech are crucial. You only have a half-minute to capture the audience’s attention. So, if you’re stumped on how to begin your next English presentation, try one of these tried-and-true hooks.

However, choose your hook carefully and, of course, be honest with yourself. Is the story you’d like to tell relevant? Will your joke make the audience laugh? Don’t forget to consider how your audience will react.
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Address the following:

Why is knowing your audience an important part of capturing and maintaining their attention?
What cultural considerations do you need to take into account for your particular audience/topic?
How are you going to keep the audience’s attention throughout the speech?
Find at least one example on YouTube, TEDx, or other video repositories of good attention-getting examples. Post the URL and explain how the video is a good model for capturing the audience’s attention. The video can be on any topic but must be appropriate for sharing.
Make sure to include a scholarly source to support your points.

You will need to integrate and cite the video you selected as well as a scholarly source.
Minimum of 2 sources cited (video and an outside scholarly source)
APA format for in-text citations and list of references

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