I’m one of those people who enjoys public speaking, and would like to do more of it in order to get better at it. I’m always looking for ways to improve my presentations. Accordingly, I have a rare request at the end of this post.
First, I want to call your attention to some advice by Tom Antion of Great Public Speaking on starting your speech with a memorable “wake ‘em up” strategy to bring your audience out of “their comas.” This is particularly good advice for speakers presenting in the afternoon after a hearty lunch. Whenever you give a talk, it is a good idea to start off with something memorable to grab the audiences attention, like his friend Mike Stahl (breaks six concrete blocks with his hand), Jim Ziegler (memorizes every person’s name), or Tom himself (shoots confetti or fire into the air). As he says, you could ride in on a horse…whatever. His point: “Use some outrageous skill or opening that grabs ‘em by the brain.”
So, my request? Although I am not looking for the outrageous (although it would be fun to hear about them), I’m interested in learning about any truly memorable opening comments/actions/entrances/etc. that you have experienced and remember vividly from a presentation you attended. I’d love to have you send me a comment about it.