My Aunt Cheryl has a big DVD collection (yes, DVDs still exist). When I go visit her, she’ll sometimes suggest a new movie that we should watch together. The movie obviously made an impact on her, or she would not have even brought it up. However, my aunt knows me well. I don’t watch a lot of movies; I go to the movie theater twice a year at the most. It just isn’t at the top of my list of hobbies and interests. So, she knows she has to pique my curiosity somehow. She does this by giving me the gist of the movie – a delicate balance of giving me enough details without giving the entire plot away. Based on that, I’ll decide if I want to watch it.
What’s my point? When you’re giving a speech, you also need to give the audience a reason why they should listen to what you have to say. A reason that would be of interest to them, and also creates a little curiosity. If you are giving a presentation about the importance of having goals for the new year, you may say “Over the next 30 minutes, you’re going to walk away with three tools you can use to set goals, keep yourself accountable to those goals, and track your progress along the way. These tools will ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running come January 1.” You want to make sure your statement hooks the audience. If it doesn’t, they’ll start to mentally tune you out. Ideally, you want to include this statement in the opening of your speech before you start covering the main points.
Give them a reason to listen!
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To your speaking success,
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
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