Killer Presentations – Step 1

So you have a big presentation coming up or you have been asked to speak at some kind of function. Maybe it’s a wedding, a school graduation, or just a typical business review.

Well I have put together a 10 point checklist that is guaranteed to make your presentation rock the crowd and get noticed. Noticed for being creative, interesting, and smart. They will be talking about your geniousness at the water cooler.

I am going to cover point 1 today in this newsletter. Check point number 1 is to make sure you “Open Big.”

Like the first 9 lyrics of the Hollies song, “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother”.

I personally believe this song was such a huge hit partly because it opens so big. The tempo doesn’t work its way up to the end of the song like most songs. It starts out with a big almost hypnotizing voice, which was different.

You can do the same thing with your speech by opening with something big. Something they are not expecting.
In fact the less it appears to have with the subject at hand, the more attention snatching you’ll get.

Don’t worry about your opening not being associated with message. It is always possible after writing the 1st draft to find a way to bridge from the opening to the rest of the speech. Creativity is in finding that connection. Don’t worry, multiple connections are always there.

Toastmasters and most conventional training is wrong. They tell you should:

1- Tell them what you are going to tell them
2- Tell them
3- Tell them what you told them

You have heard it a 1000 times and it’s a crock of shit. It is too predictable.

Pick something that is radically different as an opener. It is the same rationale as a good advertising headline, you have to get their attention first. Choose any statement that would stop them in their tracks. It shouldn’t “appear” to relate to your content.
It catches everyone off guard and as a result you now have their attention. And it is memorable.

In a recent keynote presentation, this was my 1st slide, my opening statement was “Autism Can Be Good”. This was an audience of high faulting MIT professors and a technical conference. That got their attention. Then I simply tied it into one of my creative thinking tools called Sensible Design.



Your audience’s initial thoughts should be “Where the hell is he going with this?, not “He told me what he is going to tell me.”

Open big.


Leave a Reply