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Don’t begin your Speech with an Open!
(Day 10, Speaking Palooza 2019)

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July is Freedom from Fear of Speaking Month and to celebrate, I’ve invited a team of speaking experts to share their best tips and tricks for improving your speaking skills and overcoming speaking anxiety.

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Don’t begin your Speech with an Open!

By Guest Expert Maurice DiMino

When is the “Open” of your speech not an opening? When you want to stand out from the crowd!

Don’t begin your Speech with an Open!

Since this is a Speaking Palooza…Let’s add as much wallop to your presentation as possible. I believe it all starts at the beginning…The Open.

Wait! Not the “Open!” Let’s get this right up front. If you want to create a Million Dollar Message, you have to change the word AND your mindset of the opening of your speech. You should be calling it your:

“Introduction”

You may be thinking there is not much difference between these two words: Open and Introduction. But there is.

Since the beginning of oratory history we have been taught that a speech is comprised of an Open, Body and Close. OK. That’s good for the laymen but not for us Palooza’s! Let’s call what we should be calling it…The Introduction.

In short, this is the time for you to introduce yourself to the audience AND for the audience to be introduced to you. Again…I know what you’re thinking…There’s no difference between those two points. Here is the difference: It is your ability to connect to the audience as quickly as you can. Why?

The Numbers: 8 and 3

Friend or FoeIt takes about 8 Seconds for individuals to make a First Impression. Your audience first impression of you is only at the “level” of Friend or Foe. So you have your work cut out for you. But wait…there’s more. Within the first 3 Minutes, your audience is now deciding whether they are going to listen to you OR mentally check out. I can guarantee you don’t want the latter!

This sounds like an impossible hurdle to overcome: First Impression of Friend or Foe. And are they going to listen to me!

Well, not really. From now on, treat the opening of your presentation as an Introduction and not as an Open…then it all gets much easier.

Let’s give examples. A traditional Open you may have heard (and I have heard this open hundreds, thousands of times) goes something like this:

“Hello. My name is Fill in the Blank and I like to welcome you to Name of Event at Some Location. Thank you for being here.” YAWN!

I believe that when an audience hears this…Either consciously or subconsciously they say ‘Oh, I have heard this before.’ And they are off to La La Land, shaking their heads at the appropriate times and applauding when it’s time to do so.

Is that what you want if you want to be a Palooza Speaker? I say “Hell No!”

Let’s break it down.

Since you got 8 Seconds to make a first impression…Make one. This comes down to the way you are dressed and take the stage. I try to dress ‘just above’ the audience. If they are casual – I am business casual. If they are dressed to the nines – I am dressed to the tens. I always wear a blazer and button down shirt. Being in Los Angeles…I am always dressed ‘just above’ the audience.

Smile. This is small but HUGE! What’s the quote: “A smile is a light in the window to let someone know you care.” I love that quote because it is so true. You have to let your audience know you care about them at the very start and your smile goes a long way to prove this.

Now for your First Words. Remember you got 3 Minutes before it is mental lights out. Here are some ideas. Choose one of these ways for your next speech:

Begin with a Question.

question
This is one of my favorite ways to start. Why? Because the human brain will always answer a question. Don’t you agree? See you did it just now. By asking a question, look what you have done, you already have your audience participating in your speech. If they are participating, they are not drifting off.

Ask a question that is relevant to your speech. And make sure the answer to the question comes out to be a positive. Remember you want to be seen as a Friend not a Foe.

Begin with a Comment.

comment
This comment can be Pro or Con. Pro: A positive comment, fact or figure that you will support with the rest of your presentation. Or if you are daring, try a Con Statement. A statement that is against what you are speaking about. Imagine doing this, your audience is going to wonder if they are in the correct meeting room. But notice…they are participating. Then the rest of your presentation will prove the positive.

Begin with a Story.

story
Yours or Someone else’s. This is a great way to start a presentation when you are given a long time to speak. By telling a story, the audience begins to create images in their minds as they slowly relate to the story. Again, they are participating and making a mental judgment call to join you in your speech.

So there you have it…A few ways for you to make your Introduction. This is the way for you to start thinking of how to introduce yourself to your audience and have your audience be introduced to you. With this new mindset, you will stand out and really connect with your audience.

I created the Maurice DiMino’s Million Dollar Message Presentation Template that contains more information on The Introduction. This Template helps you to easily create a powerful, passionate, and profitable speech every time. It walks you through your complete presentation: The Introduction, The Golden Nuggets and The Bookstore to save you time and make you more money.

And when you enter the Speaking Palooza Contest, mentioned below, you will be entered to win your own copy of my Number #1 Best Seller The Art of Public Speaking which contains the entire ‘Million Dollar Message’ Template.

Share Speaking Palooza 2019 to Win Prizes!

Discover the fabulous prizes and learn how to enter here. Contest ends August 3, 2019.


About Maurice DiMino

Maurice DiMinoMaurice DiMino is an International award-winning speaker, Number #1 bestselling author, and Accredited Speaker.

Maurice’s professional life has seen him span both coasts. Beginning his career in New York City in the advertising world and then onto Los Angeles selling high-end post-production equipment, working with some of the best: The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Bachelor, and other high rated reality programming.

By joining Toastmasters in 2002, it changed the trajectory of his life. In 2004, Maurice won his District’s International Speech Contest. He became a contract speaker for one of the top seminar companies in America.
The TED Organization recognized him as an outstanding speaker and in April 2013 he became a TEDx speaker at San Diego State University. In August 2018, Maurice became the 78th person to achieve Toastmasters Accredited Speaker Designation. He delivers his “WIN at Leadership” presentation to corporations and organizations throughout the United States and Internationally.

His clients include Microsoft, US Navy, Marriott Dubai, Los Angeles Food Bank along with other corporations and organizations. When companies are looking for a straight-forward, interactive and fun session with massive value they call on Maurice to deliver his “W.I.N. at Leadership” Keynote.

As your gift for being part of Speaking Palooza…Get his latest Number #1 Best Selling Book at YourMillionDollarMessageNow.com.


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About the author

This post is part of Speaking Palooza. Created by Carma Spence, author of the award-winning, bestselling book Public Speaking Super Powers, it is a month-long event bringing together a wide variety of speaking experts from throughout the English-speaking world to help you overcome the fear of speaking and become a better speaker.

Please see the "About" section above for more information about today's featured expert.

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