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July 2020     In this Issue:
  • How to Ignite Audience Interest with your Introduction and connect with them even before you speak!

Have you ever heard someone introduce a speaker stating rather boastful accomplishments and mentioning credentials totally irrelevant to the topic, with no attempt to mentally engage the audience? Consequently, the audience is  so totally disgruntled, disengaged, disinterested that the first picture below could hypothetically represent their reactions.  Cry
This month, let's examine a few steps you could take to create a 'you-focused' introduction (audience-focused) as opposed to an entirely 'I-focused' (speaker-focused) one! As a result, the second picture would reflect an enthused, interested audience with whom you have already connected....voila... Sealed then you take the stage/platform knowing they are ready and willing to hear what you have to say about benefitting their personaly and/or professioanal lives!!!! Wink
Quotation of the month:
 "Speaking is a process that can be learned by ANYONE. You need 4 ingredients:
  • time
  • practice
  • in front of live audiences, and
Connect with your Audience in your Introduction BEFORE you even open your mouth to speak!
Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or a novice, a business presenter or a toastmaster wanting to enhance your speaking skills, you need to realize that speaking is not about Perfection but about Connection. Isn't it worth your while then to create an engaging introduction for someone to read that will ignite your audience's interest before you speak?
 4 Steps to follow when creating your Introductions        
Ensure your intro. is relevant to your TOPIC, AUDIENCE and SPECIFIC PURPOSE    
1.  Start off about them using a question(s) or a statement(s) with as many "you" words as you can. i.e., You may also use a quotation and then expand on it by having them reflect on a follow-up question or 2 about the quotation. (btw Using humour is quite acceptable in introductions)
  • Have you ever been put on screensaver eyes when listening to a speech? Have you ever given one of those speeches? On the other hand, have you ever been captivated by a speaker from the start to the finish of the speech? What do you think is the difference that makes the difference? OR
  • When was the last time you....?
  • Think back to a time when you..
  • Have you ever considered that our road in life is quite similar to...
  • Will Rogers said: "You may be on the right track but if you just sit there, you will get run over!" I invite you to apply this quotation to ...
2.  Make a promise with the benefits they will receive ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE TRAINING  i.e.
  • Today, you will discover 3 essential speaking keys that will not only remove you from where most speakers are: in the 'wannabe' speaking group, but will definitely provide you with the knowledge to become a world class speaker.  OR
  • This morning you're invited to step on the Yellow Brick Road and discover the 4 C formula to not just reach the rainbow but go somewhere Over the rainbow so you wlll reach your potential personally and professionally
  • Today you will pick up 5 essential C's that relate to the Skeletal Story Structure which will help you become a masterful storyteller
3.  Mention only relevant credentials for that specific topic and leave all other credentials out. i.e.
- My many years as an educator would be stated if I was talking to a group of teachers, retired or still teaching, as my time in that profession would align me to them by making myself similar, not special.

- I would also mention my years as an educator if I was addressing an audience on customers' service...teachers have had to deal with people of all ages and walks of life from students to colleagues to parents to superiors etc

- On another occasion, my years as a comedic stage actress would be mentioned if my talk was on stage presence, humour, or the need for a variety of delivery techniques.

- If your skills as an athlete for example taught you lessons on TEAM WORK  and your topic or one of your sub-headings was discussing team, then use that credential
4. Turn everything about you into everything for them ... i.e.
  •  For over a decade Kathryn has been studying with world class speakers. She has picked up keys that have unlocked the doors of her speaking potential and helped her become a professional speaker. These keys are not easy to come by but when you master them, you too will also reap the benefits. You will find more opportunities, experience less stress and frustration in getting there...etc etc
In wrapping up, try creating your introductions in a way that you will start an immediate connection with your audience and you will also be able to gauge their interest and energy level before you come to the front to speak!
Until next month, successful speaking to you!
Kathryn MacKenzie, BA M.Ed. DTM
Presentation Skills Instructor/Author
  Keynote Speaker/Coach

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