iSpeakEASYblog

6 Ways To Lose Your Audience In The First 10 Seconds

In BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, Confidence/Nervousness, PowerPoint, Public Speaking on November 7, 2011 at 8:35 PM

The opening line of a presentation is a golden moment when 100% of the audience is paying full attention to the speaker. An effective speaker uses this to capture the attention of the audience gain credibility. Here are 6 common ways speakers lose their audience with their opening comment:

These are real statements…

1.  Admit or demonstrate you did not prepare

  • “I really didn’t have much time to prepare…”
  • “I did not prepare for today so I will just wing it”
  • “So how much time do I have?”

2.  Make a meaningless statement

  • “I don’t really have much to say and my topic is really boring anyway”
  • “Ummmm……I am really glad to be here”
  • “Is this mic on?”
  • “Well, you all know me and what I do so….”

3.  Put yourself down, make an excuse, or apologize

  • “I really don’t feel very well so I am probably not going to do very well”
  • “Well I know I’m not the best public speaker, but…”
  • “I am sorry – I know the previous speaker was really super, and I’m not, so please bear with me”
  • “I have misplaced the notes, so…”

4.  Tell the audience you are nervous

  • “This is the first time I’ve spoken on stage and I just hope I can get through this!”
  • “I hope you’ll bear with me because I’m so nervous right now!”

5.  Tell the audience there is no reason to listen

  • “Everything I am going to say is covered in the handouts”
  • “I really don’t know much about this topic”

6.  Lower the audience’s expectations

  • “That was a great introduction. I hope I can live up to it.”
  • “I know my talk is going to be less than stellar”
  • “Bill Jones, who is really a great presenter, and who was scheduled to deliver this presentation had a scheduling conflict – so he asked me to fill in for him. I won’t be as good as Bill. Please bear with me”
  • “I have misplaced the notes, so…”

A good opening builds your credibility and captures the attention of your audience. Take time to prepare your entire presentation and pay extra attention to the first words you want your audience to hear.

© 2011 – iSpeakEASY, All rights reserved. This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

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  2. Research says that you form a first impression within 6 seconds. It looks like this lines up with the first words out of your mouth…

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  4. It is typically one way, from the speaker to the audience with limited audience interaction, such as in a webcast.

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  14. You are absolutely correct. I just put a link in my Public Speaking course materials to this article so my students can read it.

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