How to Hook Your Attendees in First Minutes

If the attention of your audience was not caught in a very short initial time, it will be very difficult to do it later - and often it is not possible. Use speech hooks to catch it in the very beginning!

All experts and experienced presenters know for sure: the first few minutes of your presentation are a key to its success. The correct beginning, as we have said many times, is highly important.

But just a right beginning may not be enough for success. What does it mean - a good start? In our understanding, this is an opening that will immediately capture the attention of the audience, adjust it to one wave with the speaker, make your attendees to participate in the presentation actively, and not just sit on a chair and look at handouts.

Hooks – not only for fish :)

We advise you to use the so-called speech hooks. This is a certain set of ideas and actions, phrases and behavioral patterns that will allow you to achieve your goal and to interest the audience in the very first minutes of the presentation. Sometimes it can take about 5-10 minutes, if the presentation is large, or 20-30 seconds for a small pitch. In any case, take the recommendations carefully, they can ensure your success!

In order to catch the audience, you need to work on certain "points" of perception, which can cause a lively and energetic response in it. By the way, even a negative emotional response can be a key to a success of a presentation - if you offer a solution to the problem later. It all depends on the topic, mood, audience composition and goal of your speech. Which "points" work best?

Usually there are: surprise, shock, laughter, new experience, questions (requiring reflection, rhetorical), quotations of significant people, interesting short stories. Let's talk about each hook separately.

Surprise your listeners

There can be several variants of the surprising beginning. Here you can bring interesting facts, name the numbers that will make the audience think and count in the mind. You can make a riddle or share with the audience a certain lifehack that will be useful for them. Do not start with the naming of the topic and boring phrases. Think about things and ideas that surprised and interested you personally, if you were on the audience's place.

Ask involving questions

As we said above, they can be rhetorical - this means that you will not go through the entire audience and collect the answers. The rhetorical question implies that each listener will give his own answer in his head, personally for himself. But such a question will cause him to think - which means that attention to you and your topic will already be created. Such questions can also be made for communication - in this case you start with a small conversation with your audience that is actively involved in what is happening. You can also use polling – PodioBox can help you – the polling system is already provided with it. Each listener uses his own gadget and is constantly involved in the discussion, and you get their answers and display them on a common screen. It's exciting and interesting!

Offer a new experience

What could it be? First of all, the statement that this presentation was created specifically and exclusively for this audience that is now sitting here. Please, keep this promise! It's not so difficult, but it can give completely new experiences for your audience from the first minutes. Secondly, you can offer to play a game (which one, come up yourself - the topic of the game should be close to the topic of your presentation, and the game itself should not last long). You can offer keeping complete silence for one minute, during which everyone will formulate the main goal of the presentation for him personally, and then tell it to you or fill out the form of the survey (PodioBox can help you here, too, there is a PRO version that offers surveys and real-time responses). Click THE LINK to try it for FREE!

Play with their imagination

Invite them to imagine a picture from the past, present or future, draw a colorful picture in their heads - it's almost impossible to listen to a speaker who describes anything emotionally and interestingly, and remain indifferent to what he is talking about. Tell the story - it's no less exciting. But remember the time limits. In order for them to like, it should not be long.

Shock the audience

In this case, you can also come up with some interesting ways. Speakers of TED and other popular conferences often use paradoxical and even outrageous statements and facts to cause emotions in the listener - and make him to be attentive. Someone says: "I will tell you why you are losers and will never succeed." Someone might say: "I know why you will live three years less." Imagine yourself in the place of the listener - of course, you will be interested! You will want to hear both "why" and "how to avoid it."

Use quotes and jokes

Quotations should belong to people whose personality matters to your audience. They can be leaders in the industry of your presentation topic, or generally recognized famous personalities. As for jokes, it is better to use them less, but more qualitative in the topic. Jokes should be acceptable for the society as a whole, and for your specific audience - in this case no one needs to be shocked, it's enough that they smile.

Good luck!

© PodioBox 2017

Posted in Tips by PodioBox on Jun 19, 2019.