What if we told you that 95% of Event Managers say that after using an Event Management Platform they couldn’t imagine ever again working without one? Well, that's certainly true, but it was mostly a way to catch your attention right from the beginning. Why? In the digital era, distractions are everywhere and a traditional speech opening will not capture your participant’s attention. We live in a world where they can be quickly distracted with a simple notification on their phone. Here are three ideas of ways to open up your event session and capture your audience’s attention within seconds. Let's get to it!
1. Tell a story
You weren’t expecting that, weren’t you? Yet, storytelling is a proven way to not only captivate but resonate with an audience. Starting off with a story is a great way to open your presentation. You’ll be amazed to see your audience captivated and surprised by your opening.
It’s usual to open a speech by presenting yourself: "Hello everyone, I’m Guyliann and...". Even though it seems obvious, it's the best way to annoy your audience from the very start. This pattern is repeated in most presentations, both professional and personal, and it stays in your head like a Pop Hit impossible to get rid of.
Just as we introduced this article, one way to catch their attention within the first 5 seconds of speaking is by telling a story. For example, start by talking about something that happened to you in your professional career that changed the way you see life or do business forever. Find a story that is related to your event’s key message and it will definitely engage your participants!
2. Ask a question
If you want to surprise your audience, what could be more unexpected than an open question to start your speech? Your participants will feel concerned and will naturally focus on an answer and thus pay close attention for what’s to come.
For example, why not ask them the last time they evaluated their means of reaching their goals? An introspecting question like this one gets you to really start thinking and you’ll be focused on where the presentation is going.
The type of question you ask should depend on your audience and your goals!
3. Start a game
Yes, a game! Both fun and interactive, it’s the perfect way to open a speech at a virtual event. Not only because you are directly involving your audience, but also because you are once again creating a great atmosphere for the event. Always remember that the key to a successful event is engaging your participants!
You can do it out loud or opt for the digital way using your virtual event management platform’s interactive features. For example, tell your participants that you are going to share two facts about yourself; one is true, the other is false. They have to find out which one is false. Launch a quiz within your virtual event platform to collect their responses. Your Engagement rate will skyrocket and your attendees will have no choice but to really focus on what you are saying! What if there are more questions later?
Forget what your subconscious is telling you and embrace new ways of starting your speech that are sure to capture your audience’s attention. Remember, your entire event may depend on those first 5 seconds, so be creative!