How to Start a Speech

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Mar 11, 2012


How to Start a Speech
How to Start a Speech thumb How to Start a Speech thumb How to Start a Speech thumb


  • One of the first words you should say in a speech, and what are the last words you should say in a speech
  • Now tomorrow, I don't know how many of you are speaking, but I guarantee if you go to conferences
  • 19 out of 20 speakers will start in one of these ways number one
  • My name is Connor Neal. I'm from tango and this talk is about the latest trend in monitoring strategies
  • Now all of you are sitting with a piece of paper in front of you. That says I'm Connor Neal
  • I've come from Ireland, and I'm going to talk about tango 0-4 and this
  • So by repeating what you already know? I'm giving a signal that it's a time to get your BlackBerry out
  • I've just signals that this talk is
  • Opportunity to reconnect with blackberry make sure the office is ok, maybe get some plans together for the weekend
  • Another way to start
  • The lights and some of the mics working and how much time have I got
  • Ok right
  • ok
  • Is it is it plugged in?
  • and
  • You laugh, but I guarantee tomorrow. There's going to be some moments
  • They get a little bit up
  • And
  • Why because this is for some of you the first time you see this individual. They're here as a leader in their industry and
  • Your kid at school presenting on giraffes does a better job
  • That's sad I
  • Think there's only three ways of starting a speech
  • And it's the same if you went into a bar
  • and there's a group of people as a networking event much like you were at before you walked into this room and
  • Maybe I came up to a group
  • There's group of three people who are having a little conversation. I walk in and I say hi. I'm Connor
  • I'm Irish 38 years old I have an interest in sailing. I like running
  • And they've walked away
  • How do you get people to engage with you when you're networking I
  • Say in networking the best thing you can do is walk up. I think we know someone in common
  • Try and walk away when someone comes up and says that to you
  • Hopefully, you've done your research, so you do know that you've know someone in common, but with LinkedIn
  • You can find out who knows who on anyone you want?
  • So how to start a speech?
  • first way
  • With a question that matters to the audience
  • How do you phrase a problem that the audience faces in a question
  • So that'd be the third best way of starting a speech
  • The second best way of starting a speech with a factoid that shocks
  • There's more people alive today than have ever died
  • More people alive today than have ever died
  • There's a lot of speeches that can follow on from there
  • Every two minutes
  • The energy reaching the earth from the Sun is
  • equivalent to the whole annual usage of humanity
  • All the energy all the cars everything moving all the lighting all the air conditioning of the world in
  • One year is equivalent to two minutes of Sun
  • Does that change how you think about energy
  • So what's a fact that shocks the audience into rethinking?
  • and
  • Google has transformed your ability to get at these facts
  • Given two or three minutes you can find out one whether anything I've said is true
  • But you trust me because I
  • Look the part, and I'm from ESA
  • those are in fact two true facts
  • I Usually get someone come up to me and are you sure but how do they measure dead and alive
  • But it's true, and it's not even close
  • But the best way to
  • Start a speech and the way that I hope all of you use from now forward
  • is the same way
  • We start a story to a child
  • Now how do we start a story to a child?
  • And I say oneth
  • once upon a time
  • And what happens when you say once upon a time I can tell you what happens when I say once upon a time my daughter
  • leans forward
  • gets ready to hear
  • engages
  • and
  • We were all trained as kids
  • to know when a story's coming
  • We also know when a teacher is about to deliver a 40 minute boring lecture that has no impact on our lives
  • But in business
  • You don't hear him Jack Welsh saying once upon a time
  • Steve Jobs doesn't heart start his speeches once upon a time, so there's a grown-up way of saying once upon a time and
  • If you listen to the conversations that are interesting around you at a dinner table in
  • A networking event if you listen to the people that are gathering the group of eight that are listening to them
  • The way they're talking is different the way they start is different
  • The way you tell stories as an adult is in
  • October was the last time I was in this room there were a hundred and twenty people in the room
  • And I was having a little conversation with one of the world experts on public speaking and he said something to me
  • He said something to me
  • This had me thinking ever since
  • He said something to me that changed
  • What I think about what's important in speaking?
  • Now I can pause for about 30 seconds two or three minutes, and you want to know what he said
  • So in
  • Speaking in sales, we assume
  • self-interest
  • So if you can tell a story from your own life that
  • Connects you to why this topic is important to you. Why you first joined the company when you first saw someone
  • benefit
  • And you saw how their life was changed, and I think here
  • exploring what quality of life means for you in your business
  • How do you affect quality of life for a customer?
  • Because that's where the stories that will start to connect you to the audience will come from
  • Because stories are about people
  • They're not about objects they are not about things. It's about the people behind the things
  • If you want to tell a good story about Tango don't talk about the software talk about the people who built the software
  • What they do how they are what's important to them what they sacrifice?
  • And in your own life
  • What does quality of life mean? What sacrifices have you made to achieve something that was more important and
  • If you can tell stories and the audience connect with those stories then
  • They want to hear what you have to say
  • And all the reasons and all the benefits. They're all written in the document and in the PowerPoint
  • But they need to trust you
  • And they need to care about you as a person to engage with you and then decide that they will act

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http://www.conorneill.com What are the first words of a speech? What should be the first sentence of a speech? How can you engage an audience from the first moment? There are 3 ways to start a speech.

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