When getting ready to speak and preparing an introduction, Jason Hartman knows the importance of grabbing the audience’s attention within the first few words. This is called a hook. The best hooks will intrigue them, make them want to hear more, and catch them by surprise. Here are some tips to hook your audience.

Be Passionate

The audience can sense passion, and will often share that passion if you can hook them. They need to sense confidence, and true belief in what you’re talking about. Once you make a statement, be sure to back it up. Give it your all, and continue to throughout the entire presentation.

Ask a Question

Introducing a speech with a question is a fantastic way to get them hooked right from the start. You don’t necessarily need to receive any answers. A rhetorical question works just fine. They’ll want to know the answer to the question, and will stick around to find out what your point is.

Tell a Story

People have always liked hearing stories, and they’re a great way to invest any audience into your speech. Most people relate with stories and like to empathize with them. A good story will have the audience on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next. It can also help them relate with the overall point of a presentation.

Use Metaphors

Most people think in metaphors, making them an exceptionally powerful tool to hook the audience during a speech. Anything the audience can connect to can work wonders to keep them hooked.

Be Funny

It’s important to be careful when using humor, but if you can find the type of humor the audience enjoys, it can persuade them to listen to an entire presentation. Avoid jokes if possible, humor isn’t all about jokes, and make sure all humor relates directly to the point of your presentation. One of the best kinds of humor to use during a speech is self-depreciating humor. It shows you have character, or ethos.

Be Controversial

Opening with a shocking statement that will grab the audience’s attention from the start. The audience will either feel strongly in for the statement or strongly against. It’s your job now to persuade them for the statement throughout the duration of the presentation. Just be sure to do the research necessary to present the information as accurately as possible.

Interested in learning what public speaking can do for you? Read Become an Expert with Public Speaking to learn more. (Top Image: Flickr | HowardLake)

The Speaking of Wealth Team