One of the ways that you prepare an excellent speech, presentation or other public speaking situation, is to ask about what you want the audience to THINK as a result of this presentation.
One of the best ways to get the audience to think is by asking them a very simple question. I like to start a speech with a question. Even before I introduce myself. Actually, Hello My Name is Mark Westbrook, and I'm here to talk about BLAH is one of the weakest ways that you can possibly start a presentation.
So right at the start of your presentation, pose a question to get them engaged. And then wait a few seconds, allow them to reflect on what you've asked.
What would you do with an extra £30,000 a year?
WHO HERE HAS A MORTGAGE?
WHO EATS IN TAKEAWAY RESTAURANTS? STAND UP IF YOU DO. SIT DOWN IF YOU'VE MANAGED TO LOSE SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT IN THE LAST YEAR.
WHO IS SICK OF THEIR 9-5?
DOES OUR COMPANY REALLY PUT PEOPLE FIRST?
WHAT'S THE ONE SINGLE THING THAT WOULD MAKE YOU BETTER AT YOUR SALES JOB?
Some questions are designed to provoke, others to encourage, some inspire, others guilt-trip. What they all do is engage the listener, forcing them to listen to you. They want to hear what you have to say after that.
Now compare the difference. My name is Mark Westbrook, and I want to talk to you about improving your sales techniques. They don't compare.
Asking a provocative, engaging, and intriguing question at the top of your speech, make it deeply connected to the BIG IDEA of your speech and you'll have a rapt audience waiting for you to answer that question for them.