Have you ever travelled to another Country and found yourself
wondering why they aren’t as polite as …well… as Canadians?
If you are a Canadian, like I am , or know a Canadian , you would know that one of the reputations we have around the globe is that “Canadians are very polite”, and some would argue, at times “too polite”.
Is there such a thing as being “too polite”?
As a matter of fact there is, especially when it comes to public speaking. What I am about to say may be contrary to what you have been taught, but if you want to stand out as a speaker, and own the stage, you NEVER want to open your message with a THANK YOU. What I am referring to are the “niceties” that most speakers start off with after they are introduced. What distinguishes the best from the rest is when a speaker uses the first 30 -90 seconds of their message to capture the audience’s attention and get them curious enough to want to keep listening to what you have to say. Let’s face it, audiences don’t really care that you are “glad to be here” or “so thankful for (so and so) inviting you to speak”. What the audience cares about is “What’s in it for them?” Audience members have lots of competing thoughts going on in their mind as they sit there. As a speaker, your challenge (and goal) is to interrupt those thoughts and capture their attention and keep their attention so they discover what you have to say applies to their life. The first 30-90 seconds of your message is a critical piece as your audience will be determining whether they like you, and assessing whether they think you have any thing relevant that’s worth their time and attention.
If you must thank someone from the stage, do it AFTER your Opening and before you get into your main content of your message , or somewhere else in the message (appropriately) but DO NOT OPEN with THANK YOU.
Take note the next time you hear a speaker and see what they do and what difference in impact it made in the message. If you currently do this, take out the niceties in your opening and open with a bang. See what difference it makes in capturing your audience’s curiosity and infusing your message with fresh power!
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