Category: Presentation Opening Stories

Presentation Skill Fundamentals: Start Off With a Story

Presentation Skill Fundamentals: Start Off With a Story

  Starting your presentation off with a story is a great way to: Signal “This is different, so pay attention.”–Because it’s not the typical “Great to be here” opening or long intro/warm-up before the “real” material kicks in, starting with a story signals “this is different from the typical talk you’re  used to.” Thus it […]

How I got a skunk to start my conference presentation

How I got a skunk to start my conference presentation

Here’s a brief story about how I got a skunk to start off my conference presentation. It’s a fun example of how “stories are everywhere” and how to take a seemingly unrelated life event and use it to start off your talk. BTW…the sound quality isn’t great, because I needed to filter out the road […]

Use an Analogy to Pack a Punch: Togue Brawn shows you how

Use an Analogy to Pack a Punch: Togue Brawn shows you how

Two weeks ago, I heard one of the coolest examples of how analogies make your point pack a punch. It happened at a “pitch fest” hosted by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development’s  Top Gun program. Ten entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to an audience of several hundred, competing for a $10,000 prize. It was also […]

How NOT to Blow Your Big Chance When Speaking In Front of a Group

How NOT to Blow Your Big Chance When Speaking In Front of a Group

A while back I witnessed yet another sad example of someone squandering one of the most precious marketing opportunities possible: getting the chance to present in front of a group of potential buyers. This happened at an association meeting of customer service professionals. A rep from  a CRM (customer relationship management) software company had the […]

Nervous About Speaking? Just Add Stories: A Debrief of My Semi-Impromptu #SMBME Talk

Nervous About Speaking? Just Add Stories: A Debrief of My Semi-Impromptu #SMBME Talk

Just before heading out to the Social Media Breakfast of Maine’s meeting (check out #SMBME for tweets from the crowd), I checked my email. It was 6:20 AM. Much to my surprise I found an email from the event’s organizer, Amanda O’Brien, which had been sent the night before. Her email said she had just […]

Simon Sinek Demonstrates How to Use a Story to Start Your Talk Off With a Bang

Simon Sinek Demonstrates How to Use a Story to Start Your Talk Off With a Bang

Check out this great Simon Sinek talk, given at 99U, titled Why Leaders Eat Last. Notice how draws you in and then makes his point  hit  home at a visceral level. It’s also worth watching it for the outstanding content, too. The next time you give a talk, how about coming up with a story […]

How to Start Your Presentation Off With a Story…and Why You Want To

Starting a presentation off with a story starts your presentation off with a bang. It captures your audience’s attention and signals “This isn’t going to be one of those boring Death By PowerPoint presentations. When choosing an opening story, use this list to see how many of these objectives your story accomplishes. Different stories acccomplish different […]

Start Your Presentation Off Right with a Pain and Promise Story

Start Your Presentation Off Right with a Pain and Promise Story

If you want your audience to care about your message, start off with a story that speaks to their pain and presents your promise of what can happen if they listen and apply what you’re going to share. Here’s an example of a Pain and Promise Story that I used to open up a webinar […]

How to Use Analogies to Make Your Point More “Sticky”

In Chip and Dan Heath’s excellent book Made to Stick, they discuss the power of analogies to make abstract ideas more understandable…and pack a bigger punch. Analogies do this because they: Make Your Abstract Concept Concrete…and Therefore Easier to Comprehend-It’s much easier for the brain to process a concrete image or example than make sense […]

How to Use a Pain and Promise Story to Tune Your Audience Into WII-FM

How to Use a Pain and Promise Story to Tune Your Audience Into WII-FM

If you want to grab your audience’s attention and capture their interest, don’t do a long drawn out intro stating obvious facts about the topic you are going to speak on. Don’t give a long description of your background. Instead, try starting out with a Pain and Promise Story, a story that captures the pain your […]