When you begin a presentation, whether it is virtual or live, you have 3 seconds to grab your audience’s attention. In those 3 seconds they will decide whether you are going to be a good speaker. Therefore, you need to grab their attention fast. There are three great different ways I teach to grab your audience’s attention.

3 Ways to Grab Your Audience’s Attention

First, use enrolling questions. Enrolling questions are those questions that engage the audience. They get audience to raise their hands. It is important that you get this right otherwise your audience members will roll their eyes. You must use TWO questions. The second question will build off the first. For example, I might use these two questions:

  • How many of you would like more clients?
  • How many of you not only want more clients, but you want a never-ending flow of clients?

Enrolling questions are always benefit driven. Your goal is to get 100% (or close to that) to raise their hand. Thus, always use a positive focused question. In other words, you would never ask something like, “How many of you have claimed bankruptcy?”

The 2nd attention grabber is a statistical statement that hits their pain point. In the medical field this is easy. But you can find statistics in business too.

In business, it might sound like “83.5% of businesses fail in the first 3 years.” This is not an actual statistic. However, when you use a statistic, make sure it is true, current, and ideally it’s an odd number. Odd numbers are psychologically more believable. When you state a statistic, you are going for the pain and shock factor. You don’t need to speak where you get that (but you can print it on a slide).

The third attention grabber is a statement of declaration. Think of this as your truth. It’s what you believe. For example, “You have 3 seconds to grab your audience’s attention.” I believe this to be true. No one told me this nor did I read this anywhere. However, from my experience I believe this to be true. It can be anything you want. Another example of a statement of declaration for shock effect is a guy who speaks on time management. He opens with, “I’m late. I’m late. I’m late.”

How to Choose and Use an Attention Grabber Style

When developing your attention grabber, you will want to select the one that is right for your audience, right for your speech, and powerful. Furthermore, you need to deliver it in a powerful way.

Use attention grabbers for any presentation that is 1 minute or longer. You would not want to use this with a 30-second elevator speech that is designed only to answer the question, “What do you do?” When you have a longer period of time to do a self-introduction, however, you can use an attention grabber.

Common Mistakes Speakers Make with Attention Grabbers

Do not start out with a quote by someone else. This is a big mistake I see speakers make. When you start quoting someone else, they start thinking about that person. For example, “Good isn’t good enough, you have to be outstanding, meaning you have to stand out from the rest” is a Tony Robbins quote. Now the audience is thinking about Tony not you. Remember when you are at the beginning of your talk, you are in the rapport building phase. So you are trying to keep the focus on you.

The second thing you should avoid is to never start out with a story, even if it’s about you. We don’t know you yet. You haven’t earned the audience’s attention yet. Typically, it will be too long and boring.

Thirdly, never start out with a joke. It should go without saying. You take people into the story and now they are not in the room with you. Also, you may think the joke is funny, but the crowd may not.

The secret to uplevel your opening of your talks is to craft the attention grabbers that build rapport and trust in the shortest amount of time. We go deep into crafting your content in my mastermind programs and you’ll get more in-depth presentation training in our virtual events.

Let’s recap the thre powerful attention grabbers quickly in this video.

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