There are some speeches that are uninteresting that the audience would just want to get up and leave. It is your job as the speaker to make sure that they don’t do that. You have about the first minute of your speech to capture their attention otherwise, it’s going to be hard to make them listen. It is in your first few words that you establish who you are, your credibility as a speaker, and whether or not you and your topic are worth listening to. These are some courses of action that you can do.
1. Start it off with a story
Most of the time, stories are captivating tools to engage people to listen to you. It’s a narration of another person’s experience. We are just naturally designed to enjoy them. Haven’t you noticed it? We enjoy our teacher’s stories about their life and family which makes them seem more human. We are fascinated with listening to campfire stories. We got used to hearing bedtime stories before we dozed off to sleep.
2. State a shocking statistic
Begin your speech with a shocking statistic that goes something like “Did you know, Singapore is one of three surviving city-states in the world! The other two were Monaco and Vatican City.” That would definitely be something that would make your audience listen to you. Just make sure that the information you are saying is connected to your topic so that it has already made an impact to your audience.
3. Include an interesting photo or video
Would you pay attention if you saw on the screen a photo of a dog with three natural legs and one artificial leg then followed by a video of it running around and doing tricks. I bet you would. It is often said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. With just a single photo, you can create a huge impact in a short span of time. They would immediately conjure up thoughts in their head and would really anticipate you to begin your speech.
4. Bring a prop
There are some animal doctors that would bring a live animal to one of their talks. There are some people who would bring postcards or keychains to be passed around the audience. By using a prop, it is a great way to catch their attentions. Treat the prop as if it was a magnet that attracts your audience into listening to you. If you were going to be talking about history, you can use an artifact of some sort. You can bring a dish of food if you’re talking about different cultures around the world. There are many props that you can use depending on the topic you are discussing.
5. Convey a quote
Why not start your speech with a famous quote? If you are going to talk about power, you can use Spiderman’s “with great power comes great responsibility” to make a point. If it is something that rings in the ears of the audience or something they are familiar with, you can immediately catch their eyes. People tend to pay attention when they hear a familiar line either from a song, a movie, or a famous personality.
Catching your audience’s attention can be difficult. You have to make sure that you do otherwise, you’ll have no listeners to absorb whatever you are saying. Try out these tips and reel them in!
Contact Speech Ionizers if you need help in public speaking at +65 9145 6032