How often do you pay attention to introductions of public performers? Which topic do they usually choose to begin with? According to my analysis, most speakers start their performance with sentences such as:
– “I stand here in front of you today because…”
– “I’ve given a lot of thought on how to begin my speech today …”
Of course, these sentences come right after: “A kind welcome on my behalf and thank you for your invitation.”
What do these introductions have in common? They focus on the speaker. The speaker places himself/herself in the center of the speech which can be risky. Participants attending presentations or conferences can easily lose interest and turn their attention to their mobile phones since the speaker has so far failed to gain their attention or respect. They are not sure whether the speaker is worth listening to since he/she hasn’t shown them their credibility. They haven’t told them anything substantial enough they could relate to or find interesting. As mentioned, in this case, the speech was purposely or inadvertently started by focusing on themselves.
Start things differently and immediately grab hold of listener’s attention. Confide with them the unusual facts with respect to the topic you’re covering. Tell a joke, or share an interesting story. Trigger interaction with a daring statement.
It’s now time to introduce one unexpected fact. Why can talking about yourself sometimes be a good idea? It is good to implement personal experience and share it with listeners which is also relevant for our topic. For example, this could be a personal experience with details that additionally support your claim. By doing so, we emotionally and intellectually form a connection with participants and who then perceive us as being equal to them and sincere. And yes, even an imaginary personal story can sometimes serve as a great introduction.
The difference between talking about ourselves and a good personal story is that we tell personal stories in order to support and explain the contents of speech with additional examples that our audience can relate to. If, however, we fail to prepare for our performance and begin talking about ourselves without any particular reason, we can come across as self-centered and lacking credibility. The participants can lose interest in us and our topic much sooner than we’d like. It could happen at the very beginning.
Join us on the journey to a superior communication!