Begin with a story! as so many Ted speakers do

This is from another blog who did use a guest writer for it. Soon I'll add their names to this.
The first ten or twenty seconds of your speech is the peak of your audience's engagement level. It is not going to get any better as one by one your listeners will get distracted by their mental grocery lists or the next day's outfit.
Hook them fast with benefits by giving them an implicit or explicit reason to pay close attention.

Opening #1: The Personal Story

The most consistently successful opening is the personal story
Here is what you need to know. 
First, your personal story should really be personal. Tell your own story and share your observations. 
Second, make sure your story is directly relevant to your core message. If your goal is to inspire people to volunteer their time to feed the homeless, a cute story about how your dog can bark 'I love you' just does not belong. 
Third, fourth, and fifth, make your story highly emotional, highly sensory, and rich in dialogue. The story should be so specific that your audience is able to relive it with you. And sixth, start your story somewhere in the middle so that you immediate prompt your audience to wonder who, what, where, whey, why, or how.

In his TEDTalk, author and success expert Richard St. John demonstrated the power of using a personal story for his opening:
This is really a two hour presentation I give to high school students, cut down to three minutes. And it all started one day on a plane, on my way to TED, seven years ago. And in the seat next to me was a high school student, a teenager, and she came from a really poor family. And she wanted to make something of her life, and she asked me a simple little question. She said, "What leads to success?" And I felt really badly, because I couldn't give her a good answer. So I get off the plane, and I come to TED. And I think, jeez, I'm in the middle of a room of successful people! So why don't I ask them what helped them succeed, and pass it on to kids?
Did you visualize yourself on the plane? Did you turn your head and eavesdrop when the teenage girl, who came from a poor family, asked Richard for the secret of success? Could you feel Richard's disappointment about not having a good answer and his zeal to be ready to help kids in the future? Moreover, and more selfishly, are you now intensely curious what Richard St. John found to be the key to success? To find out, you will have to watch his talk on TED.com; I cannot spoil all the fun. But, at least you now know Richard's secret to capturing his audience with a personal story opening.

See also bellow : two stories begin and a story finishes the music teacher's speech - it works!

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