100+ keys for powerfully persuasive presentations


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100+ keys for powerfully persuasive presentations

  1. 1. 1 Table of Contents ContentPART 1: THE ABC-C FORMULA 1. The SUCCESS Principles for Powerfully Persuasive Presentations 2. The ABCC Foundation 3. 4 Questions You Must Ask Before Your Next Presentation a. Who is your audience? b. What‘s your purpose? c. What‘s your core message? d. What are your key points? 4. Attention Grabbing Opening i. Law of Primacy ii. 5 Opening Gambits: 1. Quotations 2. Statistics 3. Story 4. Activity 5. Question iii. The Big Promise iv. The Pain v. The Roadmap b. Body i. Points and Anchors: 1. Anecdotes (Stories) 2. Acronyms 3. Activities 4. Analogies, Similes, Metaphors 5. Statistics 6. Case Studies 7. Product Demonstrations 8. Customer Testimonials
  2. 2. 9. Quotes c. Conclusion i. Law of Recency ii. Summary of main points d. Call to Action i. Specific Next Steps e. Creating Great Titles for Your Speech f. Presentation Structures i. Problem/Solution Structure ii. Then, Now, How Structure iii. PARTS Formula g. Blank Page to Stage in 15 Minutes 10 Step Formula for Creating Powerful Presentations in 60 MinutesPART 2: STORYTELLING 5. Storytelling a. Jared Foggle: The Power of Stories b. The 5 C‘s of Remarkable Stories (with Example) c. A Storytelling Tool to Help You Create a Powerful Connection with Your Audience - a.k.a. How to Read Your Audience‘s MindPART 3: LESSONS100+ Lessons i. Keep it Conversational – avoid Document Speak ii. Keep it You-focused iii. 4 Ways Involve the Audience in Your Speech iv. Create a Wow moment v. How to Use Statistics in Your Speech vi. 5 Ways to Build Your Credibility without seeming like a Jerk vii. Create a Wow moment viii. Sell the Benefits ix. 5 Keys to a Great Introduction x. Use Visual Words to Paint Pictures xi. Don‘t Squeeze Your Information In xii. Catch Phrase xiii. Repetition xiv. Plan and rehearse for Audience Participation xv. Using Demonstrations xvi. Using Customer Testimonials xvii. Case Study 1: Steve Jobs‘ Stanford Commencement Address
  3. 3. xviii. Case Study 2: 5 Public Speaking Lessons from Malcom XPART 4 6. Powerpoint 7. Props 8. HandoutsDelivery 9. Before You Take the Stage a. 3 Great Ways to Rehearse Your Presentation b. 8 Things to Do Right Before You Take the Stage 10. Handling Nervousness a. Dry Mouth b. 7 Ways to Build Your Confidence Before You Get up on Stage 11. Room Arrangement for Maximum Success a. How to arrange the room to make sure your presentation Rocks! 12. 50 Delivery Tools from the Masters a. 4 Habits of World-Class Speakers b. Mistakes that Could be Killing Your Connection with Your Audience i. Don‘t Lip Sync Your Presentation ii. Don‘t Make Yourself Seem Special iii. Don‘t go Overtime iv. Don‘t speak too quickly v. Don‘t squeeze your audience out vi. Don‘t Over-generalize vii. Don‘t tell the Audience Members About Themselves viii. Don‘t Speak without Tying Your Points to an Anchor ix. 3 Tools to Respond to Your Audience c. Case Study: Anthony Robbins‘ Top 3 Techniques for Delivering Powerful Presentation d. Case Study: Oprah‘s Top 8 Communication Skills Tips e. How to Use the Stage Effectively 13. Humor a. The Rule of Three b. Self-Deprecating Humor c. Uncover Humor from Dialogue d. Voice the audience‘s thoughts out loud e. The Secret behind Spontaneous Humor
  4. 4. 14. Impromptu Speaking a. 5 Tools for Giving Great Impromptu Presentations b. 3 Lessons from Rick Perry‘s ―Oops‖ moment 15. The SUCCESS Principles with the Tools 16. 6 Persuasion Principles and How to Use them to Create Powerfully Persuasive Presentations 17. 6 Proven Principles for Mastering the Q&A section 18. 25 Public Speaking Tools from 300+ Public Speaking Experts 19. BONUS Offer1 SUCCESS Principles for Powerful PresentationsDo you want an easy formula for creating memorable presentations?If you follow these guidelines and tools you pick up in this book, youraudience will have no choice but to be wrapped up in your speeches andpresentations.In their groundbreaking book, ―Made to Stick‖, Chip and Dan Heath‘srevealed six simple principles for creating memorable messages.In this book, I have taken Chip and Dan‘s work and applied it to creatingpowerfully persuasive presentations. You do not need to have read Made toStick in order to get maximum value from this presentation (although I dorecommend picking up a copy of the book). If you have already read Chipand Dan‘s book, you‘ll find this book a valuable addition to your library inhelping you create powerfully persuasive presentations and speeches.According to Chip and Dan Heath, the SUCCESS formula for creatingpowerfully effective and memorable messages is:
  5. 5. SimpleAny type of message – whether it‘s delivered in the form of an advert or apresentation – needs to be simple and clear to understand.How do we apply this to presentations?How do you know if your message is simple enough?How do you make your message simple without dumbing it down?Boil your presentation or speech down to one simple, core message. Whatone thing do you want you want your audience to remember by the end ofthe speech? You should be able to summarize this point in one sentence –and in words that even a child could understand. If you can do this, thenyour message is meets the requirement for Simplicity.Later on in this book, you will discover XXX tools for making your messagesimple without dumbing it down.UnexpectedThe best messages are the ones that are shocking and say somethingunexpected.In your presentations, the best way to grab your audiences‘ attention is todo or say something unexpected. However, don‘t make this gimmicky (i.e.just for the sake of being unexpected). Make sure your ‗twist‘ is part of yourmessage. One way of doing this is to provide shocking facts/statistics. Forexample, if you were giving a presentation on healthy eating choices,instead of saying ―Popcorn is very unhealthy!‖ you could say ―One bag ofpopcorn is as unhealthy as a whole day’s worth of fatty foods!”. This latterstatement would shock your listeners and would be more memorable thanthe general statement about popcorn being unhealthy.
  6. 6. But what if you are delivering presentations that are boring in nature andcontain absolutely zero shocking facts or twists?Later in the book, you will learn how to take boring messages – even theones that seem like they have nothing shocking or unexpected – and turnthem into powerful messages that contain the element of ―unexpectedness‖.You‘ll also learn Steve Jobs‘ technique for adding unexpectedness to hispresentation.ConcreteAccording to Made to Stick, the best messages are concrete rather thanvague.What does this mean for your presentations?It means that you should avoid vague language. Provide specific, cleardetails. Instead of saying ―a few months ago‖, say ―On 19 March 2011″.Instead of saying ―eat healthy‖, say ―make a commitment to never eat atMcDonalds‖.Later in the book, you will pick up more techniques on how to make yourpresentation more concrete.CredibleThe most effective messages are credible and believable.So, how do you create credible presentations?How do you convey your credibility to your audience?How do you build your credibility without seeming like you‘re flaunting yourachievements?
  7. 7. One strategy is to talk about things where you have an expertise. In otherwords, if you‘re speaking about ―How to be a Millionaire in 10 days‖, makesure you‘re not broke. Make sure you live the message you preach.Later on in the book, you‘ll learn how to borrow credibility from third-partysources and you‘ll learn more five very specific strategies for building yourcredibility.EmotionalAdverts and presentations that engage people‘s emotions will be memorableand effective.How can you engage people‘s emotions even when giving boring, technicalpresentations?One way is to engage people‘s emotions by telling them a story. In ChapterXXX, you‘ll discover how the five elements of great stories and how to usestories to engage people‘s emotions…even when delivering standard, boringbusiness presentations.StoryThe best messages use stories. Stories are a very powerful way of engagingpeople‘s emotions. You‘ll learn about the role of stories in presentations andyou‘ll discover ways to add stories to your presentations to make yourpresentations irresistible to your audience! *There you have it, the SUCCESs checklist for sticky presentations: Simple Unexpected Concrete
  8. 8. Credible StoriesThose are the six elements of great presentations, and by the end of thisbook, you‘ll have picked up over 100 very specific tools on presentationstructure, delivery and content that you can use in your very nextpresentation to make it a roaring SUCCESS!2 The ABC-C Formula for Powerful PresentationsThe SUCCESS principles state that your presentation needs to be simple andeasy to understand. The first aspect of having a simple presentation ishaving a simple, clear and logical structure.The best presentations follow the ABC-C structure.What is the ABC-C structure?A – Attention Grabbing OpeningYour speech needs to have an attention grabbing opening. If you don‘t grabyour audience‘s attention within the first 30 seconds of your speech, they‘regoing to tune out of your presentation.Unfortunately, most presentations today have very boring predictable
  9. 9. openings that turn audience members off.Have you ever been bored by such an opening?Have you ever bored your audience with such an opening?In the following chapter, you‘ll learn how to avoid boring openings and you‘llpick up five specific tools that you can use to create openings thatimmediately capture your audience‘s attention.B – BodyThe next part of your presentation is the body.This is where you make your main arguments and points. Later in the book,you‘ll learn how to organize your points logically so that your presentation iseasy to understand and follow. You‘ll also pick up specific tools on how tomake the body of your speech compelling and persuasive.C – ConclusionEvery speech needs a clear conclusion.Unfortunately, I‘ve seen too many speakers abruptly end their speeches withthe terrible phrase, ―That‘s the end of my presentation‖. Later in the book,you‘ll learn exactly how to conclude your speech so that you leave a positivelast impression on your audience. You‘ll also learn why you need to haveyour conclusion after the question and answer session.C – Clear Call to ActionEvery speech and presentation needs to have a clear call to action.The call to action makes it clear what you want your audience members todo differently as a result of having listened to your presentation. Later in thebook, you‘ll learn about the importance of including a clear ―next step‖ that
  10. 10. your audiences can take after having listened to your presentation.However, before you get started with creating your attention-grabbingopening, there are 4 questions that you need to answer.3 Questions to help You Create an Outstanding PresentationBefore you start writing your speech, here are four key questions that canhelp you create an outstanding presentation/speech. Take some time to fillin the answers in the space provided:1. What‟s the Purpose of Your Presentation?Before you begin writing a single word of your speech or start designing yourPowerpoint slides, you must identify the purpose of your presentation.Knowing the objective of your presentation will help you decide which pointsto include in your presentation and which ones to toss out. As a result youwill be able to deliver a focused presentation that drives home your keymessage.To help you identify the purpose of your presentation, answer the followingquestions:Why have you been invited to give this presentation?
  11. 11. Are you there to inform, entertain or persuade?What do the event organizers and audience members expect from you?What information are you required to cover?What information does the audience expect you to cover?Identifying the purpose of your presentation may sound like a very basicstep, but it is crucial to the success of your presentation. For example, Ionce attended a recruitment talk by an organization that I was hoping towork for. The presenter believed that her purpose was to give us (heraudience) as much information about the company as possible. Therefore,she spent the better part of an hour talking about companys timeline,starting with when it was founded and detailing all the events that hadallowed the firm to become one of the largest in Asia.The audiences purpose for attending the talk was to figure out what sort ofbenefits they could get from working with one of best firms in Asia.Unfortunately, the presentation was a complete failure because thepresenter identified the wrong purpose. The audience‘s purpose forattending the talk and the presenter‘s purpose for presenting did not match.The lesson here is simple yet powerful: Make sure you identify the correctpurpose of your presentation.
  12. 12. 2. Who is Your Audience?Presentations are not about the speaker. They are about the audience.Presentations and speeches should be about the value that the speaker canadd to the audience members lives. Therefore, you should spend some timeresearching who your audience is and how you can add value to their lives.It is best to know who your audience members are early on because thisinformation will help you decide which examples will be most relevant, howmuch time you should spend addressing each point and what objections andquestions you need to address in order to persuade your audience.If you already personally know most of the people who will be attendingyour presentation, then this step will most likely take only a couple ofminutes. However, if you are invited to speak at a large conference, thenthis step may take a lot longer because you may need to send out a pre-event questionnaire to find out more information about your audiencemembers. Below are a couple of questions that will help you find out moregather important information about your audience:Who will be in your audience? (Age/Occupation/Gender/Education Level)How many people will be there?What are they expecting from you?How much knowledge do they have of the topic you are talking about?If you are trying to persuade them, what are the possible objections you willface?
  13. 13. If you are trying to inform them, what difficulties will they have inunderstanding?Can you interview any audience members in order to include their stories inyour presentation?3. What is Your Core Message?Once you have identified your purpose and gathered some information aboutyour audience members, you need to create your Core Message. Your CoreMessage is the most essential concept/idea in your speech. Which oneconcept/idea do you want your listeners to understand and remember? Or,alternatively, what one single action do you want your listeners to take afterthey have heard your speech?To help you identify the core message of your speech, answer thesequestions:If your audience was to forget everything else that you said, what is the onesingle thing that you would want them to remember?If you are delivering an informative presentation, then what one piece ofinformation do you want your audience to remember?If you are delivering a persuasive presentation, then what one point are youtrying to prove?If you are delivering an inspirational/ motivational speech, what action doyou want your audience members to take at the end?You should be able to write out this core message on a piece of paper in lessthan 10 words. If it takes you longer than 10 words to explain your CoreMessage, then it is not clear enough.This core message of your speech will guide you in creating focused,relevant content for your presentation. Since this is a very importantquestion, Chapter 4 of this book is dedicated to helping you dig out the core
  14. 14. message of your speech.4. What are Your Key Points?After you have written down your Core Message, write down several keypoints that you can use to support your Core Message.To help you identify your key points, answer the following questions:What are the main points which support your core message?What stories can you tell that will help you emphasize your key points?What quotes can you use?What statistics will help you back up your core message?What analogies/metaphors/similes can you use to make your messageeasier to remember?Can you interview any audience members so that you can include theirstories in your presentation?By answering the above four questions, you set yourself up for successbecause you have the foundations of a great speech.
  15. 15. 4 How to Find Your Core MessageWhen you first start preparing your presentation or speech, the mostimportant thing you must do is to figure out the core message of yourspeech.What is the one thing that you are trying to achieve with the speech? Whichone concept/idea do you want your listeners to understand and remember?Or, alternatively, what one single action do you want your listeners to takeafter they‘ve heard your speech?To help you clarify the core message of your speech, answer this question:If your audience was to forget everything else that you said, what is the onesingle thing that you would want them to remember?You should be able to write out this core message on a piece of paper in lessthan 10 words:The single most important thing that my audience shouldunderstand/remember is ________________________Imagine that you are invited to a radio-show, and the host asks you to lethis viewers know the main essence of your speech. You should be so familiarwith the core message that you should have no problem explaining it in lessthan 30 seconds.
  16. 16. Finding the core of a message is about prioritization rather than ‗dumbing-down‘. You should strip away all the unnecessary ideas. You should even getrid of all the important ideas that aren‘t crucial – aren‘t the most importantthing that the audience should know.Identifying and writing down your core message has two key benefits: It helps you decide what to keep and what to throw out. If you have an interesting story, statistic or chart, you should include it only and only if it helps explain your core message. If it doesn‘t, save it for another speech. It helps the audience remember and understand your presentation. Once you‘ve stripped away all the unnecessary details, the audience gets the benefit of hearing a focused and clear talk. When they leave, they‘ll remember you and your core message. You‘ll have made an impact.As an example of ―finding the core‖, let us examine an important idea fromreal estate.Location, Location, LocationImagine that you have to give a 15 minute presentation on real estate. Yourgoal by the end of the presentation is to leave your audience in a betterposition to choose a home than when they first came in.Now, real estate is a huge topic. It takes 4 years of business school to get adegree in real estate. The challenge before you is enormous. There is simplyno way that you can present four years worth of real estate knowledge infifteen minutes. Trying to cram in ten points in fifteen minutes would mostlikely confuse your listeners, and most of them would leave without havingunderstood anything. The problem is that you don‘t have a core message.However, if you spend some time during the preparation stage, you mightcome up with the following core message: ―Location, Location, Location‖.You‘ve heard of that core message before because it‘s so easy to remember
  17. 17. and it‘s the most fundamental thing people should keep in mind when buyingreal estate. The core message is one which helps guide peoples behavioursand helps them make decisions.For example, let us imagine that your friend Shelly is considering buying ahome. She tells you, ―I‘ve found a great place to set up my shop. It‘s a greatprice and it‘s got lots of great amenities but it‘s located in a terrible place.The location is very inconvenient. What do you think?‖Here, with the core message guiding you, what will you say? You‘ll tell hernot to buy the house because the most important thing is ―location, location,location‖.Finding the core of your presentation is about forced prioritization ratherthan ―dumbing things down‖. When creating your presentation, you have toforce yourself to get rid of interesting facts and stories which aren‘t directlyadding value to your core message. Every point you make – every story youtell, every statistic you use, every chart you include – should be used toillustrate the core message.It‟s the Economy, Stupid!A political campaign is a war zone for hundreds of political issues: budgetand spending, civil rights, drug policy, energy policy, foreign policy, healthcare, immigration, jobs and unemployment, national security, social security,tax policy. The list goes on and on.With so many key issues at stake, is it possible a political campaign to findone single core message?In the 1992 U.S. election, Bill Clinton‘s political campaign did just that whenthey came up with the following slogan, ―It’s the Economy, stupid!” Clinton‘score message was that he was the guy who was going to get the economyback into shape. The Clinton campaign realized that while all the otherissues were important ones, the most important one was to kick-start theeconomy. They began focusing all their efforts on promoting the coremessage – ―It‘s the economy, stupid!‖ – because that was the most
  18. 18. important issue on American voters minds.If Bill Clinton‘s campaign can be narrowed down to focus on one keymessage, then your presentation certainly can too. Ruthlessly cut outanything that does not support your core message.Bottom Line:If your audience was to forget everything else that you said, what isthe one single thing that you would want them to remember?In A Nutshell: Finding your core message is about forced prioritization. What’s the most important thing that you want to convey to the audience? Write out your core message on a piece of paper in less than 20 words Your core message will help you decide what to include and what to discard. If a story/statistic emphasizes the core message, include it; otherwise, save it for another speech Ruthlessly cut out anything that is not directly related to the core message. You will have a highly focused speech which the audience will remember and thank you for.
  19. 19. 5 Creating an Attention- Grabbing Opening The opening of your speech or presentation is one you should spend time writing and re-writing because it‘s one of the two most important parts of your presentation (the other part being the Closing of your presentation). The Primacy Effect Primacy Effect: ―Given a list of items to remember, we will tend to remember the first few things more than those things in the middle.‖ – ChangingMinds.org Because of our tendency to remember the things at the beginning of a list/speech/presentation, the Opening of your speech is the most important part of the presentation. The opening of your speech is also important for several reasons: It gives you a chance to build rapport with the audience members Your first impression will determine how receptive/hostile your audience is towards your speech It sets the mood for the rest of the speech If you don‘t grab your audience‘s attention within the first 30 seconds, they‘ll mentally check-out of your presentation
  20. 20. What The Dark Night, The Goodfellas andTwilight Can Teach You AboutPresentationsThink of the last great film that you watched. Many films begin right slap-bang in the middle of a fight scene, a car chase, a bomb explosion, a bankrobbery. The aim is to get you involved, interested and engaged right away.The blockbuster movie, The Dark Night, begins in the middle of the bankheist.Other movies aren‘t as dramatic, and instead open with an unexpected orshocking statement that engages you straight away. Consider the openingline of The Goodfellas: ―As far back as I can remember I always wanted tobe a gangster‖.Successful script writers, movie producers and speechwriters know that thekey to success is to throw the audience right into the middle of the story.Even fiction writers know that the first few lines of the book are among themost important ones – the audience will mentally tune in or tune outdepending on how well you‘ve managed to engage their audience right fromthe very beginning.Consider the opening line from the phenomenal bestselling book, Twilight:―I‘d never given much thought to how I would die – though I‘d never hadreason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not haveimagined it like this‖. The opening line shocks and leaves you wondering,―Wow, what‘s happening? Why is she dying? How is she dying?‖The purpose of the opening few lines of any speech, movie or book is toengage the audience straight away…to grab their attention from the outset.How many speeches or presentations have you watched where the speakermanaged to grab your interest from the first few lines that he spoke?How many speakers have you heard whose openings made you think, ―Wow,this is going to be really good!‖
  21. 21. Now, consider, how good are you at creating compelling openings which reelyour audience into your speech? If you feel that there‘s room forimprovement, then in this chapter will be very valuable for you. You will pickup valuable tools that you can use to arouse your audiences‘ interest andgrab their attention from the beginning.But first, let‘s discover the two opening mistakes that you should avoid.3 Opening Mistakes You Should AvoidMistake #1: Boring “Me-Focused” OpeningUnfortunately, too many speakers begin with boring ―me-focused‖ openingsthat put their audiences to sleep.Have you ever heard a speaker begin their presentation with an opening thatsounds similar to this? ―Good morning, thank you very much for having me. My name is ABC and I am from Company XYZ. My company has been in existence for 150 years. We focus on providing out-of-the-box, customer-centered strategies that leverage our client‘s strengths and empower them to achieve organic growth in this new economy.‖How excited do you think audiences will be in learning the history, missionand values of your organization? Not much.The key to giving great presentations is to make them, not about thespeaker, but about the audience! Presentations are about the audience…notthe speaker.Therefore, your opening should be You-focused. It should let audiencemembers know exactly what problems you can solve for them and whatbenefits you can give them! You‘ll learn more about how to do this in the
  22. 22. section about ―Creating Your Big Promise‖.Mistake #2:Opening with “Insincere” GratitudeA fellow public speaking coach started his seminar in this manner. When hewalked into the room, he began with:“Hi, thank you very much for having me today. I’m very pleased to be here,and I’d like to thank Mr. X for having invited me to conduct this workshop.”At this point, the coach looked us in the eye and said:“Okay, so how many of you expected me to say exactly what I justsaid…almost word for word?”People began to laugh and everyone in the room raised their hands.The point is simple: Almost everyone begins their speeches andpresentations with a ‗thank you‘, almost using the same exact words.If you‘re one of these presenters, then you‘re losing out on a greatopportunity to differentiate yourself from everyone else. You‘re losing out onan opportunity to make a great first impression!Even worse, many of your audience members might unconsciously label youas boring and creative, like every other speaker that they‘ve seen, andthey‘ll mentally tune out of your presentation. Trying to bring these peopleback will be a challenge, and you‘ll be left with an uncomfortable room full ofstrangers who aren‘t really listening to what you‘re saying.As you‘re about to discover, there are several techniques that you can use tocapture your audiences‘ attention and imagination straight away. However,before you come to those, let‘s first address a common objection that mostpeople raise during my public speaking workshops:
  23. 23. “Why Shouldn‟t I Thank People at the Beginning? It‟s thepolite thing to do!”Most speakers, despite knowing the dangers of using a standard ―thank youfor having me here‖ opening, continue using it because they are under thefalse assumption that thanking people must be done at the beginning oftheir presentation.There is nothing wrong with thanking your hosts and your audiencemembers for having you, but it should not be done at the beginning. In fact,not only do you lose your audience with a canned ‗thank-you‘ opening, yourgratitude may also be perceived as insincere. The fact is, because mostspeakers say ‗thank you‘ during their opening few lines, your ―thank you‖will sound no different…it will be considered as an opening formality ratherthan a sincere expression of gratitude.When is the Best Time to Thank Your Audience and Hosts?The best time to show your gratitude – both to your hosts and your audience– would be sometime after your first minute on stage, after you‘veestablished rapport with the audience by opening with one of the OpeningGambitswhich you will soon discover.After your Opening Gambit, you will have distinguished yourself from mostspeakers and created enough interest in your topic for people to want tolisten to you. After you‘ve done this, you can momentarily divert from yourtopic and tell the audience how glad you are to be there.For example, a fellow speaker who was given the opportunity to present atraining seminar on leadership thanked his during the middle of his speech,when he said: ―And by the way, talking about leadership, we can all agreethat Jim (the CEO) has done a fantastic job of leading this company!‖ Thisunexpected comment during the middle of the speech sounded more sincereand honest than a canned ―thank-you‖ beginning.Another comedian that I witnessed thanked his audience a couple of minutesinto his routine (after he had them laughing all of us laughing at his opening
  24. 24. story) and said, ―By the way, you guys are a great audience and it‘s reallymy privilege to be here today! See, last week I had this other audiencewho…‖ and then he dived right into another joke.The key point here is that you should avoid canned ‗thank-you‘ openingsbecause you end up losing an important opportunity to distinguish yourselffrom most other speakers, you will lose your audience (after all, why shouldthey listen if they already know what you‘re going to say?), and yourgratitude may be perceived as insincere. Instead, thank your audience afteryou‘ve established a connection with them using one of the Opening Gambitsyou‘ll pick up later in the chapter.Mistake #3: Opening with a Joke―Should I open my presentation or speech with a joke?‖Ah, interesting question! Humour is a great way to form a bond with theaudience. A humorous speaker immediately gets the goodwill of theaudience and is perceived as a more likeable speaker than someone withlittle or no humour.However, my personal suggestion would be to avoid opening with a joke, fortwo reasons: Jokes from a Joke-book don‟t impress anyone: If you use a joke that you‘ve read in a joke-book, then there‘s the danger that the audience might have heard it before. Immediately, you‘ll be labelled as unoriginal and the audience will doubt the authenticity of the rest of your presentation. Most people can‟t tell jokes as well as they think they can. A joke requires expert timing and great use of facial expressions, both of which most speakers lack. This results in a ―bombed joke‖ and creates an uncomfortable silence in the room. If you‘re the victim of an opening joke that falls flat on its face, this may negatively affect your confidence throughout the rest of the speech.
  25. 25. However, if you insist on opening with a joke, then make sure you first try it out on different audiences during your practice sessions to see if you can elicit some laughter. Walking in with an untested joke during your final performance is a recipe for disaster! Jokes might detract from your main message. I‘ve seen some presenters open with a joke that was completely unrelated to the main point the presenter was trying to make. In an attempt to be funny, most presenters go out of their way to include jokes which take attention away from their main message. After all, it is very difficult to find a joke which is directly related to the point you‘re trying to prove. Bottom line: Don‘t open with a joke that has nothing to do with your presentation!5Brilliant Ways to Start Your NextPresentationA gambit is an opening remark that is designed to secure an advantage forthe speaker. When speaking in public, there are four gambits that you canuse to set yourself head and shoulders above the rest of the speakers:Opening Gambit #1:Start with a StoryThe best speakers are master storytellers. They tell touching tales, usingcompelling stories as a means to solidify their message. A well told story willalways be remembered.A story is a great opening gambit, but it also works just as well as a closer.In fact, according to Bill Gove, the first President of the National SpeakersAssociation, the essence of public speaking is to ―tell a story, [and] make apoint‖. Many of the winning speeches at the Toastmasters InternationalWorld Championship of Public Speaking follow this format, telling touchingstories that wrap the audiences in a sea of emotions, and then concluding
  26. 26. with a single, key take-away message.The reason a story is a superb opening gambit is because: Stories captivate people: Everyone loves a good story, so starting with a story will capture your audience attention. The moment you begin with a story, your audience will have no choice but to tune in Stories create connections between the listeners and the speaker: A personal story will arouse emotions in the listeners. Studies have shown that our brains cannot tell the difference between ―real‖ events and imagination. Therefore, when you tell a story, your audience will imagine it in their head and ‗feel‘ the same emotions that you‘re describing. Your story will not be forgotten because your audience will ―experience‖ it rather than just hear it. Stories are memorable: We are hard-wired to learn through stories. Scientific research has shown that we make sense of the world through stories. People even view their lives as a story, with a beginning, middle and an end, and with each new experience being regarded as a ―new chapter‖ in their lives. Because of natural hard-wiring, we may forget statistics and fancy charts, but we will always remember the essential elements of a good story.Since stories are such an important tool in effective communication, you willdiscover the essentials of great storytelling in later chapters. These secretswill allow you to become a master storyteller and speaker, entertaining yourfriends as well as your audiences.Opening Gambit #2:Use Questions to Create KnowledgeGapsStarting with a question creates a knowledge gap: a gap between what thelisteners knows and what they don’t know. This gap creates curiositybecause people are hardwired with a desire to fill knowledge gaps.
  27. 27. For example, starting with a question such as, ―What‘s the number onereason that most people fail to advance in their careers, working harder andlonger, yet never achieving their dreams?‖This question immediately establishes your theme for the speech.Furthermore, it causes your listeners to start thinking about the questionand start formulating their answers. You‘ve got them hooked!However, make sure that you pause after your question so that the audiencehas enough time to reflect on your question. If you don‘t pause, you‘ll bespeaking over their thoughts and they won‘t really pay attention.Finally, opening with a question allows you to create a connection with theaudience. For example, in his winning speech at the ToastmastersInternational World Championship of Public Speaking, Darren LaCroixopened with the following question: “Can you remember a moment when a brilliant idea flashed into your head?” – Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public SpeakingIf you were in this audience, you would naturally think to yourself, ―Yes, Ican…I know what you‘re talking about!‖When the audience can relate to a question that you ask, you successfullycreate a connection.In your next presentation, open with a question that the audience can relateto or with a question that creates a knowledge gap and creates curiosity inyour listeners. Once you do this, your listeners will be hooked onto yourevery word!The Perfect Opening: Question + StoryYou can deliver the perfect opening by first starting with a question thatbuilds curiosity, and then filling that knowledge gap by telling a story thatillustrates the main point of your speech.
  28. 28. For example, let us say that you opened with the following question:“What’s the number one reason that most people fail to advance in theircareers, working harder and longer, yet never achieving their dreams?”At this point, you could immediately reveal your answer and tell theaudience, ―The number one reason most people fail is because they do notset goals for themselves”.However, as a reader of this book, you can let the listeners discover theanswer rather than simply handing it to them. You can prolong their curiosityby diving into a story that illustrates your point. For example, after askingyour opening question, you could go on to tell the story of your friend Jerry,who worked long hours each night at the office but never achieved anysuccess. You can then reveal how Jerry discovered the power of goal-settingand went on to become Vice-President of his company.In this way, instead of simply handing your answer to your audience, you‘velet them discover it for themselves through Jerry‘s story. You‘ve successfullycaptured your audiences‘ interest, and you‘ve made an impact becausethey‘ll remember Jerry‘s story.So, create a knowledge-gap using a question and then fill the gap using acompelling story.Opening Gambit #3:Quotable QuotesWould you like to add credibility to your speech?Would you build the credibility of your message by borrowing credibility froma third-party source?Then open with a quote.A short quote which illustrates your main point will create support for yourspeech. For example, if you are giving a speech about the need to keep
  29. 29. things simple, then you could borrow Einstein‘s credibility by starting likethis:Einstein said, “Imagination is more important…than knowledge!”However, here are a few pointers to keep in mind when choosing yourquotes: Shorter is Sweeter: The shorter your quote, the greater the impact. A long quote will end up boring your audience. Make Sure It‟s Relevant: Make sure the quote is relevant to your main point, and it‘s relevant for the atmosphere. A playful quotation by Homer Simpson may not be during a tear-filled funeral. Check the Source! Check the source‘s credibility. Don‘t quote Hitler if you‘re delivering a speech about the importance of ethics! Quote a well-known authority: Quoting your high school friend may please your friend, but it‘s not going to earn you extra points from the audience. Quote someone whom everyone in the audience is familiar with.Opening Gambit #4: Interesting/ Startling StatementDale Carnegie said, ―Begin with something interesting in your first sentence.Not the second. Not the third. The First! F-I-R-S-T! First!‖You can immediately differentiate yourself and your topic from most otherspeakers by shocking your listeners with a startling statement. For example,if you‘re talking about the importance of avoiding fast food, you could startwith the following statement:―If you eat a McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese, you’ll instantly gainalmost half a pound of weight!”For a statement to be shocking, it has to be something that is not common
  30. 30. knowledge. When you provide a fact which most people are unaware of,you‘ve instantly added value to their lives and made a positive impression onthem.You don‘t necessarily have to use shocking statements do get people tolisten. An intriguing statement can do an equally good job. For example:“In 1989, when graduating from college, my Professor told me somethingwhich changed my life…and it could change yours too”The above statement intrigues the listeners into wanting to know more. Itcauses them to wonder, ―What did your Professor say? How did it changeyour life? And how can it change my life?‖Intriguing statements create a mystery. They create knowledge gaps thatthe audience feels compelled to fill.If you can find an interesting or startling statement which backs up yourspeech‘s core message, be sure to open with it and you‘ll have your listenerswrapped up in your presentation.Bonus Speaking Tip: Add Humor with a Witty QuotationIf you would like to add humor to your speech, then you can use a wittyquotation (provided that it doesn‘t detract from your message). By quotingthe witty one-liner, you earn a laugh (which lightens the atmosphere) andthe audience will appreciate you giving credit where it‘s due.Finally, even though you‘re quoting someone else‘s one liner, your audiencewill come to see you as humorous simply because you were the one whoused the quotation!Caution: If you‘re unsure about your ability to pull off a joke or a wittyquotation (and if you haven‘t tested it out before) ―err‖ on the side ofcaution and avoid it. Use one of the four proven Opening Gambits (or acombination of them) to grab your audience‘s attention and keep them onthe edge of their seats.
  31. 31. Bottom Line:Do the first 30 seconds of your presentation make your audience think,―Wow, this will be worth listening to‖?Include a Big PromiseWhat can the world‘s biggest Ponzi scheme that lost investors over US$50billion teach you about creating persuasive messages?What communication tool can the ‗Worst Fitness Gimmick of All Time‘provide you with that will enable you to grab your listeners‘ attentions‘ andkeep them hooked onto your every word?By the end of this chapter, you will have the answers to these questions andlearn one tool that you can immediately use in your personal life and yourbusiness to fire up enthusiasm among your friends, family, colleagues andcustomers. You will discover the one universal principle that motivatespeople, and you will be able to use it to daily conversations, emails, textmessages and speeches to win people‘s time and attention.But, before you discover that universal principle, we first need to start withthe story of Bernie Madoff scam:In March 2009, Bernie Madoff, a former stock-broker, investment advisorand non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange, admitted thathe had been using his wealth business to run, in his words, ―one big lie‖ thatcheated thousands of investors out of their money. Major banks such asHSBC and Fortis Bank lost billions of dollars with Madoff. Charities such asthe ‗Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation‘ and the ‗WolosoffFoundation‘ had their money stolen by Madoff. No doubt that Bernie Madoffcaused unbelievable anguish and pain to individuals who had trusted him:Take Hollywood screenwriter Eric Roth who found out he‘d lost all hisretirement money to Madoff‘s Ponzi scheme. However, not only did banks,charities and celebrities lose their money to Madoff, but ordinary people whocould easily have been your neighbours or friends found their life-savingshad vanished overnight.
  32. 32. So, what was it that caused all these people to invest with Madoff? Certainly,the mechanics of the Ponzi scheme are beyond the scope of this book. Icannot claim to know or even understand Madoff‘s twisted scheme. I don‘tknow what to conclude about the scam, and I could just as easily have beenone of his victims.However, the main reason why the celebrities, banks and charities investedwith Madoff is because he made them a Big Promise: Madoff‘s fundpromised investors consistently high returns which ranged from 15% - 22%.To take an example, Robert Chew, who was a Madoff investors, says ―[Wehad] no idea how he achieved such fantastic returns over the past 40 years.All we knew was that my wife‘s entire family had been in the fund fordecades and lived well on the returns.‖Tom Tugend, another investor, was also lured into Madoff‘s scam byMadoff‘s Big Promise of high returns on investment. According to the storyon MSN Moneyi, ―his [Tom‘s] annual returns of 10% - 14% were all heneeded to know about a $25,000 investment he [Tom] made‖.Tom Tugend and Robert Chew were both attracted to invest their life-savings with Madoff because of Madoff‘s Big Promiseof high returns.However, as we‘ll see in the next example, the Big Promise doesn‘tnecessarily have to be a financial reward.Now, let‘s look at how the ―World‘s Biggest Fitness Gimmick of All Time‖used the Big Promiseto attract loyal customers and sell thousands ofproducts. If you‘ve ever stayed up late at night watching infomercials thatare selling Electronic Ab Belts, you‘ve probably heard some of thesephrases: Now you can get rock-hard abs…with no sweat! Lose 4 inches in 30 days – Guaranteed! 30% More Effective than Normal ExerciseThe above phrases are the Big Promisesof the Electronic Ab Belts. Theelectronic ab belts work on the basis that the electronic signals from the beltprovide muscle stimulation…hence, you can sit around and just ―watch thefat melt away‖ – without breaking a sweat! As a result of these BigPromises, the electronic ab belts became a ―must-have‖ (I will admit that
  33. 33. after hearing these Big Promises, I wanted one too!). However, in 2002, theU.S. Federal Trade Commission charged the three best-selling electronic abbelts with making false claims1 such as the ones listed above.So, if you‘re ever in-front of the TV late at night and one of those electronicab belt commercials come on, be sure to enjoy watching the fitness models– but do yourself a favour and don‘t whip out your credit card.So far in this chapter, you‘ve seen how powerful the Big Promise can be ingetting consumers to invest and buy from you. Madoff‘s Big Promise of highreturns had thousands of investors lined up to hand over their life-savings tohim. The Electronic Ab Belts Big Promises of ‗Abs Without Effort‘ hadthousands of consumers whipping out their credit cards. However, in bothcases, the Big Promises were Empty Promises. I hope that through thesetwo examples, you‘ve seen how effective a Big Promise can be. I also hopethat I‘ve showed you how easy it is to abuse the Big Promise, and that you‘llmake sure your Big Promises are never Empty Promises.In the business world, there are lots of examples of companies that areusing the Big Promiseethically and honestly. Here are a few:BURGER KING: Have It Your Way2FACEBOOK: Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in yourlives3RYANAIR: Ryanair‘s Lowest Fare Guarantee – Or We Pay You Double TheDifference4WALMART: Save money. Live better5.So, what does all this have to do with creative powerfully persuasivepresentations?1 http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/05/projectabsurd.shtm2 http://www.bk.com/3 www.facebook.com4 http://www.ryanair.com/en/notices/070508_EN_doubledifference5http://www.walmart.com/
  34. 34. Simply, make sure that your presentation offers your audience members aBig Promise. What is the Big Promise of your presentation? What benefit does your presentation offer your audience? Why should they listen to you? What‘s in it for them?Give your audience members such a compelling reason to listen to yourspeech that they have no choice but to be curious and excited about whatyou have to offer them.Create the most compelling Big Promise that you possibly can and put itsomewhere near the beginning of your presentation.For example, during my workshops on public speaking skills, I offer theparticipants the following Big Promise: ―By the end of this half-day workshop, you will have the tools and techniques to become a powerfully persuasive speaker. If you apply the techniques you learn today, I almost guarantee you that you‘ll walk away twice as good as when you first came in. The five tools you‘re going to pick up today will shave years off your learning curve. Plus, you‘ll become the kind of confident speaker who keeps their audiences engaged, excited and entertained! The first tool…‖6The Big Promise always has audience members leaning in closer, wanting tohear more. When you use the Big Promise in your presentations, youraudience won‘t be able to wait to hear what you have to say!Now, your Big Promise doesn‘t need to be as long and as elaborate as mine.It could be just a sentence or two. For example, if you‘re pitching a new ideato your boss, you could say: ―Over the next 15 minutes, we‘re going to discuss ways our business can tap into an untapped market that‘s worth $400 million!‖6 Credit to Craig Valentine, the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking from whom I learned the Big Promisetechnique. Craig is an awesome speaker and coach. You can find out more about him on: www.CraigValentine.com
  35. 35. Here‘s another examples. If you‘re a sales trainer, you could start yourseminar with: ―Over the next 20 minutes, you‘re going to pick up tools on how to double your sales and triple your revenue‖When creating your Big Promise, there are several things to keep in mind: Answer the WIIFM Question: At the beginning of every presentation or speech, audience members are asking themselves, ―WIIFM: What‘s in it for me?‖ Make sure your Big Promise gives your audience members a compelling reason to listen to the rest of your presentation. Include Your Biggest Benefits in the Big Promise: What are the biggest benefits your audience members will gain from listening to you? Include the top three biggest benefits in your Big Promise. Cover the EDGE Benefits: Audience members are motivated by different things. Some are motivated by the prospect of making more money. Others are motivated by having more time. Others want more enjoyment. In his book, World Class Speaking, Craig Valentine talks about the EDGE Benefits. He classes the different type of benefits audience members are motivated by into the acronym EDGE, which stands for: o Esteem:More confidence, o Do More:Doing more in less time, achieving more o Gain More:Gaining more money, gaining more time o Enjoy More:Having more pleasure, more fun, more enjoyment, more happiness. If you can include at least one benefit from each of the EDGE elements, you‘re likely to have covered the needs of all your audience members. Make Your Benefits Specific: Make your benefits as specific as possible. Instead of saying, ―You‘ll sell more‖, say ―You‘ll double your
  36. 36. sales‖. Instead of saying, ―You‘ll be a better speaker‖, say ―You‘ll become twice as good as when you first came in‖. Instead of saying, ―You‘ll lose weight and look great‖, say ―You‘ll melt away all the fat and have washboard abs‖. Specific benefits create excitement because they paint a clear picture of the benefits in your audience‘s minds. Make Sure You Can Deliver on Your Big Promise: Make sure you don‘t make any Empty Promises, otherwise your audience will feel cheated and manipulated. I once saw a speaker who, at the beginning of his presentation, promised that he would reveal to us a formula that would guarantee that we would win more than 95% of the time when playing poker against our friends. As a poker player, I was tremendously excited to hear about this formula. Maybe it was a new mathematical strategy that would help me win more money? Unfortunately, later on during the presentation, the speaker went on to say: ―There is no formula that will win 95% of the time‖. It was a huge disappointment and I felt cheated. Although the speaker did make some other very good points about how to calculate poker odds, I walked away from the speech feeling manipulated and disappointed.Include a Pain StatementPeople are motivated by two things: (1) Gaining Pleasure (i.e. Benefits): People take action because they gain some benefit out of the action. They gain happiness, confidence, wealth, etc. In your presentation, the Big Promiseprovides your audience members with compelling benefits that motivate your audience members to listen to you. (2) Avoiding Pain and Loss: People are motivated by avoiding pain and loss. In fact, research shows that people are more motivated to avoid loss than they are to gain benefit of an equal amount. Thus, apart from the Big Promise, your presentation opening also needs to highlight the pain your audience members are currently suffering from. You need to insert a short Pain Statement after your Big Promise
  37. 37. tomotivate your audience to listen to you by pointing out what they are currently losing out on. For example, let‘s take some Big Promises and attach a short Pain Statements (in italics) to each one to see how they would look: ―Over the next 15 minutes, we‘re going to discuss ways our business can tap into an untapped market that‘s worth $400 million! By ignoring this untapped market, we’re losing out on $400 million worth of annual revenue!‖Here‘s another example: ―Over the next 20 minutes, you‘re going to pick up tools on how to double your sales and triple your revenue. Every day that you’re not using these techniques, you’re losing out on thousands of dollars in income.‖In my communication skills workshops and seminars, I magnify the pain byasking audience members to think about the opportunities that they‘vemissed out on: ―Great communication skills are essential to your success in business. Think about it: How many times has your big idea been shot down because you lacked the tools to persuade the key decision makers? How often have you seen other colleagues get promoted up the corporate ladder faster than you – not because they were better businesspeople – but because they were more confident and eloquent speakers? How much potential income have you lost out on because you lacked the skills to close the sale?‖By using these Pain Questions and Pain Statements, you cause youraudiences to be temporarily uncomfortable with the situation they‘recurrently in…and when they get uncomfortable, they start looking forsolutions to get alleviate the pain. All you have to do in your presentation isto package your solution/idea as that will help your audience remove thatpain while moving them closer to their goals and dreams.
  38. 38. The RoadmapYour presentation needs to provide your audience members with a Roadmapthat shows audience members exactly where they will be going and howthey will be getting there.For example, during my public speaking seminars, I say: ―During the workshop, you will first pick up three ways on how to create great content that keeps your audience wanting more. Next, you will discover three very specific formulas you can use to logically structure your speech for maximum impact. Finally, you will learn three delivery techniques you can use to bring your presentation alive for your audience!‖The above Roadmap lets my audience know that the workshop is split intothree parts: Content, Structure and Delivery. What this does is that itcreates three mental folders in my audience‘s minds, one for each section ofthe seminar. Thus, all the points for each section get mentally filed under theappropriate mental folders. This makes the presentation easier for audiencemembers to follow and remember.In his brilliant Commencement Address at Stanford University, Steve Jobsgave a brief roadmap of his speech: ―I will be sharing with you three stories. That‘s all. Just three stories‖The lesson here is that you should include a short Roadmap as part of yourOpening to let audience members know how your presentation is structured.Putting it All TogetherSo far, here‘s a how your opening should look:PRESENTATION OPENING:
  39. 39. Start with an Opening Gambit (or a combination) Big Promise + Pain Statement RoadmapMy Favorite Opening StructurePersonally, my favorite opening structure (and the one I‘ve found mosteffective) is to: (1) Start with a Question. Starting with a question immediately engages the audience into my speech and gets them to mentally tune into my presentation. For example, I might say ―Have you ever seen a great speaker? Have you ever seen a boring one? Have you ever been one?‖ (2) Dive into a Story. Next, I immediately dive into a personal story of how I used to be a boring speaker and then transformed into becoming a national public speaking champion. The story is humorous and keeps audience members engaged. It also gets audiences curious about how I went from ―boring to brilliant‖. It teases audience members to want to know the process of becoming a great speaker. (3) Make a Big Promise. After my story, I make a big promise that gets the audience excited about listening to the rest of my presentation. (4) Include a Short Pain Statement I include a short pain statement to get audience members slightly uncomfortable about their current situation. People won‘t act unless they‘re first uncomfortable with where they currently are. I also use Questions to get the audience to think about the missed opportunities and losses they‘ve had because they lacked public speaking skills. This gets them mentally begging for a solution to their problem, which I later go on to present in the body of the
  40. 40. speech. (5) Give a Roadmap I give the audiences a roadmap so they know what to expect. If they know the presentation structure, it becomes easier for them to follow along with you.“Presentation-Openings” ToolboxObviously, you don‘t have to use the same structure that I use. You canexperiment around with different presentation openings to see what worksbest for your type of presentation. However, the following eight are the basictools in your Presentation Opening Toolbox: 1. Questions 2. Stories 3. Quotes 4. Interesting/Startling Statements 5. Big Promise 6. Pain Statements and Questions 7. RoadmapKey Takeaway Message:Spend plenty of time writing and re-writing your Opening. Rehearse yourOpening. Get feedback regarding the start and ending of your speech fromfriends and colleagues. All the time you invest in perfecting the opening ofyour presentation will be worth it.In a Nutshell:If you want to set yourself up for success, then it‘s vital that the first 30seconds of your speech catches your audiences‘ attention, arouses theircuriosity and makes them feel that your speech is worth their time. Usethese principles to get your audience hooked onto your every word rightfrom the beginning:
  41. 41. Do NOTopen with a standard „Thank-you‟ introduction. You can thank your hosts and audiences later, after you‘ve built a connection with them. Use one of the four proven Opening Gambits to open with a bang: o Start with aStory o Use Questions to Create a Knowledge Gap o Use Quotable Quotes to gain extra Credibility o Open with an Intriguing/ Startling Statement Avoid opening with a Joke, especially if you aren‘t a gifted humorist and haven‘t tested the joke before. To add humor to your speech, use a witty quote instead.6 Building the Body of Your PresentationThe body of the speech is where you begin building the main points andarguments. Armed with your Core Message and Key Points from Chapters 3and 4, you can logically build your argument and support your points usingstories, statistics, analogies, activities, etc.The key thing to keep in mind is that every time you make a point, you needto tie your point to an anchor.What is an anchor?An anchor is a device that you use to hook your point to your listenersmemories. There are several types of anchors that you can use to supportyour main points.
  42. 42. 9 Anchors to Make Your PointsMemorableEvery time you make a point, you need to "tie it down" with an anchor. Youcan choose any one of the following eight anchors to hook your points toyour listeners‘ memory:Anchor #1: Anecdotes (Stories)Tell a story that illustrates your main point. A well-told story acts like amemorable testimonial.Now, for a second, imagine that you‘re a politician. Imagine that you‘represented the biggest opportunity of your life – the opportunity to speak at alarge national convention, in-front of thousands of people and millions morewatching on TV. You‘re well known locally, but relatively unknown on thenational stage. How would you begin that address?In 2004, Obama was selected to give the keynote address at the 2004Democratic National Convention (DNC). At the time of the DNC keynote,Obama was the Illinois State Senator, but he was relatively unknown on thenational stage. The speech he gave turned him into a national star and led totalk about his potential for a future run for Presidency. Less than a minuteinto his speech at the DNC,Obama launches into a story that supports themain theme of his speech. The story anchors the point that America is agreat nation where hard-work and perseverance pay off. The excerpt belowof Obama‘s 2004 DNC speech is worth studying: Tonight is a particular honor for me because — let‘s face it — my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father — my grandfather — was a cook, a domestic servant to the British. But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work
  43. 43. and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before. While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty; joined Patton‘s army, marched across Europe. Back home my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii in search of opportunity. And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter. A common dream, born of two continents. My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or ‖blessed,‖ believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined -- They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren‘t rich, because in a generous America you don‘t have to be rich to achieve your potential. Theyre both passed away now. And yet, I know that on this night they look down on me with great pride. They stand here -- And I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents‘ dreams live on in my two precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible.Because stories are so essential to public speaking, I devote an entirechapter in this book to the art of storytelling.
  44. 44. Anchor #2: AcronymsHere‘s a quick thought experiment. Imagine that you‘re in the military.You‘re part of the infantry scouts, which means that you‘re on the front-line.You are in charge of the critical task of locating the enemies and secretlyreporting their activities. Having undergone military training, you havelearned that you need to report the following items to the Headquarters toprovide them the intelligence required to make an informed decision: SIZE - Approximately how many troops does the enemy have? LOCATION of enemy using map-grid references UNIT – What is the identity of the enemy? ACTIVITY – What sort of activities are being carried out by the enemy? EQUIPMENT – What equipment and weapons do the enemy have? TIME – Time and date of sighting.Spend a couple of minutes memorizing the list above in the order provided.Now, don‘t look back at the list. Imagine that you‘re on your first missionand you‘ve spotted the enemy. Unfortunately, the enemy has spotted youtoo and you‘ve been forced to engage in combat. The enemy opens fire onyou – there‘s an exchange of bullets, screaming of orders, people hiding andducking for cover, an explosion of rockets. You‘re dazed from the explosionof bombs. You have to write a quick report about the enemy‘s activities – tosend intelligence back to the Headquarters, but it‘s hard to think clearly.Under this situation, how well do you think you could remember the itemsrequired for reporting?Granted, it‘s difficult to remember anything under those conditions. However,to make it easier for military personnel to remember the reportrequirements, the military has devised the S.A.L.U.T.E7 acronym (Situation,Activity, Location, Unit, Time, Equipment). The SALUTE acronym takes theinitial letter from each required reporting item and forms it into a word thattroops can use to remember the items.7http://usmilitary.about.com/od/army/a/infantryscout.htm
  45. 45. The military regularly uses acronyms to help its‘ troops remember importantconcepts. For example, the acronym B.R.A.S.S. has been devised to helpsoldiers remember the techniques to a gun shoot accurately. BRASS standsfor Breathe, Relax, Aim, Slack and Squeeze. Again, the acronym BRASSdoes a good job of helping soldiers remember the shooting instructions asopposed to a standard list of instructions.The military isn‘t the only place where acronyms have been used to helpfacilitate learning and recall. It‘s used by students and teachers all over theworld to help students pass examinations. You might have used an acronymto help you remember important concepts for an exam.Acronyms can also be used in speeches and presentations to anchor yourpoints. For example, during one of my workshops, I teach participants thePARTS formula for presenting (Point, Anchor, Reflection, Technique, Sale).You‘ll learn more about the PARTS formula in Chapter X of this book.If you have a list of points, experiment around to see if you can perhapscreate an acronym to help your audience remember your points.Anchor #3: ActivitiesIf you can create some sort of quick game/role-playing activity that willsolidify your point, then be sure to include it.During my workshops, I use lots of activities to help participants internalizethe concepts I am teaching. For example, I use an activity that teachesparticipants how stressing a particular word can change the meaning of anentire sentence. I get them to read out the following sentences with thestress being placed on the word in italics and then ask them how thatchanges the meaning of the sentence: I didn‘t know she was upset I didn’t know she was upset I didn‘t know she was upset I didn‘t know she was upset
  46. 46. I didn‘t know she was upsetThe point of the activity? What word you stress can completely change themeaning of the sentence.If you are giving a workshop, seminar or presentation on creativity, youmight split audience members into groups and give them an activity to find acreative solution to a problem you‘ve given them.An activity is a great anchor because: It gets your audience physically moving and doing something. If your audience members are physically moving and involved in doing something (as opposed to just sitting back and listening to you), you can be guaranteed that they‘re engaged…and awake! It reinforces your point. An activity helps make your point memorable. They might forget what you said, but they won‘t forget what they did…and when they remember the activity, they‘ll remember the point associated with it.Anchor #4: Analogies, Similes, MetaphorsOne of the best ways to remember or learn something is to link the newtopic you‘re trying to learn to something that you‘re already familiar with. Inother words, the best way to learn is to create a bridge between the familiarand the unfamiliar.Analogies, similes and metaphors compare two dislike objects to oneanother. They are great anchors because they take a subject that audiencemembers are already familiar with and create a connection or a link betweenthe known and the new information you‘re sharing.For example, heres an example of an analogy from the book The Mars andVenus Diet and Exercise Solution by John Gray: ―Think of your body as an old-fashioned steam engine. You need to
  47. 47. feed the fire with coal. When there is no coal available, the stoker slows down so that all the available fuel is not consumed. Likewise, your metabolism slows down for the rest of the day when you don‘t eat breakfast.‖ – Mars and Venus Diet and Exercise Solution, John GrayAnchor #5: StatisticsStatistics help make your points memorable. For example, the followingstatistic makes the point about wealth inequality very clear: ―Ninety nine percent of the world‘s wealth is controlled by one percent of the world‘s population‖Here are some other statistics that help make the points memorable becausethey provide evidence that the point is true. ―One bag of popcorn is as unhealthy as a whole day’s worth of fatty foods!”You‘ll pick up more tools on how to use statistics in your speech in Chapter Xof this book.Anchor #6: Case StudiesCase studies are another method to anchor your points.For example, if you‘re giving a presentation called ―Improving BrandAwareness through Social Media‖, you might give your audience members acase study of a company that embraced social media to increase its brandawareness. Then, you would work your work through the case study,highlighting the major points and providing insights on why the strategyworked and what could have been done better.Using case studies is a very common way of teaching MBA classes. In fact,the entire Harvard Business School MBA course is taught using case studies.
  48. 48. Anchor #7: Product DemonstrationsIf you‘re presenting or pitching a product, then a product demonstration is abrilliant way to win your audience‘s trust as well as make your pointsmemorable.The late Steve Jobs was a master at this. For example, during the unveilingof the Safari browser, Steve Jobs wanted to make the point that the Safaribrowser was much faster than Internet explorer. Instead of simply sayingthis, Jobs gave a product demonstration. He launched both Safari andInternet Explorer on two separate big screens, typed in a web address andhit the button to load both pages at the same time. The result? Safari loadedthe page within XXX seconds while Internet Explorer was still fetching thedata.It‘s a memorable demonstration that firmly ties the point to audience‘smemories. Plus, it‘s tangible proof – no one can dispute the claim since theyjust witnessed the live demonstration.If you‘re presenting or pitching a product, consider including a productdemonstration as part of your presentation.Anchor #9: Customer TestimonialsIf you‘re presenting to a prospective client with the hope of being hired,using customer testimonials is a great way to anchor your points and proveyour worth.For example, let‘s say you work for a company that produces computer chipsfor computer manufacturers. Now let‘s say you‘re scheduled to give apresentation to a prospective computer manufacturer with the aim of beinggetting their account. What might you include in a presentation such as this?What could you say that would persuade them to hire you?If you‘re saying that your company produces widgets cheaper and fasterthan anyone else, then you might want to tell a story about a client whoapproached you because he needed computer chips produced very quickly
  49. 49. and within a few days because his last chip-manufacturer had gone out ofbusiness. Next, you could showcase a testimonial by this client stating howpleased he was with your service. There are several ways to showcase thetestimonial. You could include this testimonial in your Powerpoint, on yourhandout, or simply read the testimonial to your audience.Since we are talking about testimonials, there are several things to keep inmind when using testimonials. Video Testimonials are best. Testimonials of clients speaking on video are the best because they are the most credible. Audiences trust video testimonials more than anything else because written testimonials are easy to fake. If you have a video testimonial, you can embed it as part of your Powerpoint presentation. Use Photos of Clients. If you can only get hold of a written testimonial, then try and include photos of your client. Including a photo as part of your testimonial gives it more credibility. Include Names. Include both the client‘s first and last names. Nameless testimonials are worthless because they lack credibility. They could easily have been faked. If you can, include where your client works and his/her position at the firm. Use testimonials which are specific. While testimonials such as ―Your company was great. I was thrilled with the service you provided!‖ are pleasing to receive, they are too general and vague to receive much credibility from your audience. Vague testimonials give very little detail about you or your company‘s specific benefits and strengths, which is why they‘re not valuable. Instead, consider asking your clients for specific testimonials such as:Anchor #8: QuotesFinally, you can use quotes to back up your main points and to make your
  50. 50. message more memorable.For example, during one of my speeches, I make the point that negativepeople can‘t affect you unless you let them. I then anchor my point with aquote. Like Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ―No one make you feel inferior…without your consent!‖A couple of months after I made my speech, I ran into a lady who‘d been inmy audience. She said, ―I still remember what you told us. I remember yourquote by Eleanor Roosevelt.‖ To prove it to me, she proceeded to recite thequote for me.Quotes can not only be a great way to borrow credibility from a third-partysource, they can also act as anchors which make your speech memorable.7 Crafting a Compelling ConclusionThe Recency Effect Recency Effect: “Given a list of items to remember, we will tend to remember the last few things more than those things in the middle. We also tend to assume that items at the end of the list are of greater importance or significance‖ – ChangingMinds.org
  51. 51. Because of the recency effect, the ending of your speech is just as importantas the beginning. People will remember the last thing that you say, so youwant to make sure that you spend ample time crafting a great ending toyour speech/presentation.Summarize Your Main PointsUse your Closing to reemphasize your main points. The closing of yourspeech is your opportunity to call-back to your major points throughout thespeech in order to reinforce the point you made. The summary of yourpoints should take, at most, two to three minutes. Simply pick out your mainpoints and summarize them in a single sentence.Call to ActionWhat do you want your audience members to do differently as a result oflistening to your speech?Include a clear and compelling call to action in the closing of your speech.Tell your audience members exactly what you want them to do. If you‘representing a business proposal to a group of senior managers and you wantthem to set up a second meeting with you, tell them: ―As we‘ve seen, this untapped market about is worth $40 million every year. We‘ve seen that the rewards far outweigh the costs and that the best time to start catering to this market is now. Having discussed this, I would like to request a second meeting so that we can discuss how to go forward from here.‖What action do you want your audience to take after listening to yourpresentation?A couple of things to keep in mind when crafting your call to action:
  52. 52. Be realistic about what you can expect from them. If you‘repitching a business idea to a group of potential investors, thenit‘s unrealistic to expect that they will invest a million dollars intoyour business immediately. Perhaps a more realistic call toaction might be to ask them to set up a second meeting so youcan talk about funding? Or, perhaps, it might be to ask them toinvest in 10% of your company so that your company can get offthe group and they can monitor the progress before they decideto fully invest in you. In any case, make sure you have a realisticcall to action.Include only one call to action. Don‘t paralyze your audienceby giving them too many choices. Include only one, clear andcompelling call to action. For example, at the end of myworkshops, instead of burdening my audience with a list oftwenty things I want them to do, I just give them call to action,which is to head over to my website so that they can subscribeto my free newsletter. I can then keep in constant contact withthem via my newsletter.Normally, the first presentation is part of a series of more e-mails, meetings and presentations. For example, your salespresentation might lead to a second and third meeting beforethe client eventually buys from you. However, instead ofburdening your prospect with a huge list of next steps, givethem only one next step they can take so that you can leadthem to the next phase of the process.
  53. 53. 9 10 Steps to go from Blank Page to Stage in 60 MinutesHave you ever been asked to give a presentation on short notice?Have you ever been asked to deliver a presentation when you don‘t havemuch time to prepare?Perhaps the task of preparing a talk scared you so much that you keptputting it off until finally the big day arrived and you didn‘t have anythingprepared.Now that you‘ve picked up the basic ABC-C structure for powerfulpresentations, let‘s see how you could apply it to go from ―page to stage‖ injust 15 minutes. Obviously, the more time you spend preparing yourpresentation, the better it‘ll be. But sometimes you might not have thechance to spend much time on preparation, and in those cases the following10 step formula will help you prepare a great presentation in just 15 minutesor less!Step 1: Identify the Purpose of Your PresentationWhy are you giving this presentation? What is your purpose for deliveringthe presentation? Make sure that your purpose for presenting matches theaudience‘s purpose for attending your talk.Step 2: Identify Your Audience
  54. 54. Who is going to be in your audience? How much knowledge do they haveabout the topic you are speaking on? What potential objections will you facewhen trying to persuade them?Step 3: Write Your Core Message in Less than 10 WordsWhat one thing do you want your audience members to think, feel or do as aresult of listening to your speech?Step 4: Identify Your Key PointsWhat are the major points you want to make?I‘m going to assume that you‘re already quite knowledgeable about the topicyou‘ve been asked speak on. After all, they did ask you to speak so youmust know something. If, however, that is not the case and yourpresentation requires lots of detailed research, then preparing yourpresentation will most likely take more than an hour.Assuming that you have at least some idea about the topic you‘re going tospeaking on, brainstorm all the possible key points and choose a couple thatyou want to focus on. Regarding brainstorming, I recommend brainstorming―old school‖ using a pen and paper. Ideas seem to flow better when you‘rescribbling ideas on paper as opposed to typing them on a computer screen.Step 5: Anchor Your Key PointsMake sure you tie each key point to an anchor. Brainstorm potentialanecdotes, acronyms, analogies, activities, statistics, case studies, productdemonstrations, customer testimonials and quotes you could use to anchoreach key point.Step 6: Create an Attention Grabbing Opening
  55. 55. Create an attention grabbing opening using one of the four opening gambits:story, question, quote or interesting/startling statement. Craft your BigPromise, Pain Statement and Roadmap. Since the opening of yourpresentation is so critical to the success of the rest of your presentation, Iadvise you to write out your opening word for word. Internalize your openingso that you know exactly how you‘re going to begin when you get up onstage.Step 7: Craft a Powerful ClosingSummarize your main key points and include a clear call to action duringyour closing. Write your closing out word-for-word on a sheet of paper andinternalize it so that you can end your presentation on a powerful note.Step 8: Rehearse Your PresentationAfter youve written out the opening and closing of your speech, its time torehearse your speech.Wait, what? What happened to the middle of the speech and all the keypoints? Why havent we written those out yet?I recommend that you verbally go through your speech once so that you canget a feel of how the speech fits together. Since youve written out theopening and closing of your speech, you should have no problem with thosetwo parts.However, when you get to Key Point #1, you may find yourself struggling.Dont worry, keep talking and link Key Point #1 to Anchor #1. Thentransition to Key Point #2 and explain Anchor #2. Do the best you can anddont worry about how you sound just yet. However, as you ad lib your waythrough the key points and the anchors, the best part is that you will findnew ideas occurring to you. Write those new ideas down as they come toyou.
  56. 56. I also recommend that you video-tape this ad-lib session because you canuse the recording to create a first draft of your speech in Step 9.Step 9: Write it Out and Edit"Is it necessary to write out my speech/presentation word for word?"Good question! My recommendation is that if the presentation is animportant one and is less than 10 minutes long, then you can script your fullspeech. Use the recording from the previous step to help you. Theadvantage of writing your speech out is that you can edit the content until itall flows smoothly. However, do not try and memorize your script word forword because this can lead to you sounding like a robot. Dont worry aboutsticking to the script...youll know your material well enough deliver itfluently enough without having to stick to the script.If you are scheduled to deliver a 1 hour presentation, then it may not be agood idea to try and script the whole thing. Instead, write a couple of bulletpoints for each Key Point and related Anchor and think carefully about thetransitions between different points. Practice ad-libbing each Key Point andAnchor until youre pretty good at fluently explaining each of the key pointsand associated anchors.Step 10: Practice, Get Feedback and ImproveThe final step is to practice your presentation in-front of a live audience.Gather a couple of friends or colleagues and try and go through yourpresentation as you would when delivering your actual presentation. At theend of your presentation, ask them for their feedback ("What can I do toimprove this presentation?"). Push them until they give you actual points forimprovement, and then go back and smooth out your presentation.If you still have time left to go before you‘re scheduled to deliver yourpresentation, practice and practice until you‘re sure you‘ve nailed thecontent! You don‘t have to be perfect, but you do need to make sure that
  57. 57. you know your content well enough to talk about it without havingmemorized your script.10 Captivating Your Audience With StoriesCase Study: How Subway used a Story toIncrease Sales by 20%Did you hear about the guy who lost over 200 pounds of weight in less thana year? And that he did this by eating only fast food?In November 1999, an article that appeared in the Men’s Health8featured abizarre story about Jared Foggle. According to the article, Jared Foggle wasan overweight student at Indiana University who managed to lose 245pounds on his ―Subway diet‖ – a diet that consisted of him eating onlySubway sandwiches.When the management at Subway heard about this, they decided to scraptheir ―7 under 6‖ campaign (a series of ads which promoted the fact thatSubway had 7 sandwiches with under 6 grams of fat) and marketed Jared‘sstory instead. The result?As soon as ‗Jared the Subway guy‘ commercialsbegan running, sales jumped by almost 20%. However, after a few years ofJared‘s commercials, Subway began to remove Jared out of their ads. WithMen’s Health, November 1999: Stupid Diets…that Work!8
  58. 58. Jared gone, sales began to go down. So Subway decided to bring Jared backand sales shot back up again.Why is it that Jared‘s story was such a huge hit? Why was the Jared-storymore successful than the ―7 under 6‖ campaign?The answer lies in the fact that stories are much more persuasive thanstatistics. Or, as executive speech coach Patricia Fripp puts it, ―People aretrained to resist a sales pitch, but no one can resist a good story‖. It‘s easyto resist the ―7 Under 6‖ campaign, but Jared‘s story is so inspiring that wecannot help but watch it. We get involved in Jared‘s story – as humans, weempathize with his problem of being overweight, even though we may notbe overweight ourselves; we get involved in the story because we arecurious (―Wow! How did he lose so much weight?‖); and we get involvedbecause we can ―see‖ the story – that is, even if you haven‘t watched theJared commercials, you can still mentally picture a ‗before-Subway‘ and‗after-Subway‘ Jared.The ‗7 Under 6‘ campaign, on the other hand, is a statistic which informs us,but fails to involve us because it doesn‘t inspire us. It doesn‘t make uscurious, and we can‘t picture what 6 grams of would mean for our body.Now, this doesn‘t mean that we shouldn‘t use statistics. Statistics certainlyhave their place in communication, but they are not as powerful as a well-told story. Nevertheless, later in the book you‘ll learn how communication-masters such as Obama and Ronald Reagan use statistics to inspire people,to arouse curiosity and to ―create a picture in the listeners‘ minds‖. In otherwords, how they use statistics to make their messages memorable. ***** ―Statistics inform us, but stories involve us‖ *****As we‘ve seen, stories are a powerful form of communication. They‘reengaging because they involve us emotionally and they are memorablebecause we can mentally see the story. To be successful in ourcommunication, we must use stories.
  59. 59. The Five C‟s of Great StoriesThe essence of public speaking is to tell a story and make a point.But what exactly makes a great story?What are the elements that go into creating stories that captivate youraudience members?What kind of stories should you include your speeches and presentations?Here are the five elements of great stories:1. Your Story Must Have CharactersWho are the main characters in your story?Give a hint about what your main characters look like so audience memberscan visualize the characters. Provide a little bit of information about what thecharacters appearances so that audience members can ―see‖ the characters.Let‘s take the Subway story as an example. Who‘s the main character? JaredFoggle.What basic information have we been given about him? He is an overweightstudent at Indiana University. Now, even though you‘re reading this, theinformation you‘ve been given is enough for you to construct a mentalpicture of Jared.When telling stories in your speeches and presentations, make sure that youprovide some specific details about how your main characters look.2. Your Story Must Have a ConflictThe conflict is the hook of the story. The conflict is what keeps audiencemembers curious to find out what happens next in the story. Your audiencemembers become interested in finding out how the conflict will be solved.
  60. 60. For example, what was the main conflict in the movie Titanic? The ship wassinking and people were struggling to stay alive. More specifically, the twomain characters – Jack and Rose – were struggling to stay alive. Would theystay alive? Would they die? There was also a secondary conflict in movieregarding Jack and Rose‘s relationship. Would they find a way to betogether? Or would they be break up because they were from such differentbackgrounds?Every great movie you watch or book you read has a main conflict thatkeeps you hooked to find out how (or if) the conflict will be resolved.Again, let‘s take Jared‘s story as an example. What‘s the conflict? Theconflict at the beginning of the story is that Jared is struggling to loseweight. He‘s overweight and out of shape and life seems to be goingnowhere for him.3. Your Story Must Have a CureThe conflict needs to be solved in some way.What‘s the cure that solves the conflict?The cure should help audience members overcome the conflicts they may befacing in their own lives.The cure is what adds value to your audience‘s life.In Jared‘s story, the cure comes in the form of the Subway diet. The Subwaydiet helps Jared overcome his battle against obesity and lose 245 pounds.4. Characters Must Change as a Result of the ConflictWhat personality/ attitude shifts do your characters undergo as a result ofhaving overcome the conflict?How do they see the world differently as a result of having been through theconflict?
  61. 61. How do they change physically, emotionally or spiritually because of theconflict?For example, after going through hardship, a character may becometougher. After struggling through poverty, a character may start up abusiness and become wealthy (rags to riches story).For Jared, he goes from being extremely overweight to being in decentshape.He goes from feeling horrible to looking and feeling better because ofhis Subway sandwich ―cure‖.5. Your Story Must Have a Carry-Out MessageThe essence of public speaking is to ―tell a story and make a point‖.So, what‘s the point of your story?What‘s the one thing you want your audience members to remember fromyour story/speech/presentation? This is your Carry-out message thataudience members will take home with them. It‘s the key takeaway messagefor your audience.The carryout message of the Subway Story is that Subway sandwiches are ahealthy choice! After all, they allowed Jared to lose 245 pounds.Now that we‘ve seen how Subway sandwiches used the 5C‘s in their JaredFoggle story, lets see how an example of a story in a speech that uses the5C‘s.Case Study: Your Dream is Not for SaleThe following story is from a keynote speech by Craig Valentine, the 1999World Champion of Public Speaking: I used to work for an internet company and I wanted to go full time into professional speaking. That was my goal, that was my dream.