Have you ever heard a TED talk that was so captivating, it practically drew you in from the very beginning? The starting point of any presentation can be just as important as what comes afterward. When done well, it sets the tone for an engaging and gripping experience. To help get your own presentations off to an unforgettable start, here are some amazing examples given by top-notch TED speakers!
When you’re prepping for your presentation, don’t waste time worrying about what to say in the beginning. Instead, think of an impactful statement or thought-provoking question that will jumpstart your audience’s attention – these are key elements when it comes to maximizing the effectiveness and success of a speech. To get started on creating an effective opener for your next address, take inspiration from some top TED talks by looking at our list with popular opening strategies used throughout history!
How to Hook Your Audience?
Struggling to engage your audience? It’s time to explore the advice of public speakers and pitch experts who have crafted a multitude of effective presentation hooks. From creative stories, powerful questions, intriguing statistics, mind-bending puzzles, or unexpected announcements – each strategy is designed to grab listeners’ attention from start until finish! See for yourself with these suggested techniques that are tried and tested by those in the know.
HOW TO START?
When I’m invited to share my ideas at a conference, there’s always the potential for great synergy with those of other speakers. With this in mind, I take time before each presentation to glean what insights and strategies they have shared so that their messages can be echoed or further fortified during mine. This allows me not only to thoughtfully craft an engaging introduction but also leverage any intriguing concepts introduced by previous presenters – creating something greater than the sum of its parts!
By demonstrating active listening and linking your intervention to other speakers’ perspectives, you set a strong example for others on how one should engage in meaningful dialogue. This can make a lasting impression during any speech or presentation!
Unlocking a deeper exchange between presenters, you can draw the entire audience into an engaging dialogue. By responding to their ideas and connecting previous discussions with your own intervention, everyone in attendance is awoken from any potential stagnation felt during prior presentations. Transform mere speeches into something truly memorable!
PRESENTATION HOOK tips:
Make a provocative statement.
How do you get people to actually listen? An economics professor found the answer: he delivered his talk with 4.8 million views and counting, using blunt humor that called out all of those making excuses for not achieving their goals and dreams. His statement wasn’t subtle – it was boldly provocative, stirring up surprise, amusement, curiosity and fear in equal measure…and didn’t require any traditional presentation methods at all!
After 20 long years of keeping a secret, Dan Pink decided to set the record straight and divulge what had been on his mind. He boldly proclaimed that he was about confess something embarrassing which would be difficult for him to admit — an event so life-shaping that it left many in attendance wondering: What could possibly be this deep dark secret?
Shock the audience.
Jane McGonigal knows how to get an audience’s attention – by making bold and unexpected claims! In her introduction, she made a statement that left many listeners wondering if it really was possible. But not only did Jane make good on this promise by revealing the game design behind it – but also supported its incredible feasibility with rigorous scientific research too. Listen in for the full story of how gaming can actually lead to increased resilience!
Tell a story.
Shawn Achor has found the secret to being more productive–and it starts with a wonderfully nostalgic childhood story! According to this renowned psychologist, positive psychology is not only effective but essential when looking for ways to become more efficient. With plenty of evidence backing his case, Shawn shows us how pursuing happiness leads us down an even brighter path towards productivity than we could ever have imagined.
Brene Brown knows how to draw in an audience. She opens her talk on confronting shame by confessing that she was embarrassed about the insights shared during her most well-known TED speech, one focused on embracing vulnerability. Through this brave and revealing story, Brown allows listeners to connect with their own experiences while delivering a clear message of authenticity above all else.
Quote an influential person.
Andrew Solomon successfully grabs his audience’s attention with a powerful Emily Dickinson quote to kick off his discussion on depression. His poignant words are even more compelling as they illustrate the heavy emotions that accompany this often-misunderstood condition, emphasizing its prevalence and impact in society today.
Begin with a captivating visual.
Revolution can seem like a mammoth task, requiring the rallying of people around a cause–usually with an awe-inspiring leader at its head. But is that really what happens? In his TED talk, Derek Sivers reveals otherwise. With eye-opening video footage to back him up, he explains how movements get going in ways we don’t expect – and why it doesn’t take much for something small to become big!
Ask a question.
What if you had the power to learn how to manipulate people’s perceptions? World-famous pickpocket Apollo Robbins dives deep into this question with an attention-grabbing presentation that has provoked more than 10.5 million viewers worldwide and challenged us all about what we think is real or not.
Use silence as a marketing tool.
Amanda Palmer demonstrates how powerful a tool silence can be in presentations. With nothing more than her breath and an insightful prop, she commands the attention of any room — proof that this dramatic technique is sure to capture your audience if employed correctly. While not all presenters may feel comfortable with such bold moves, those who do have access to a powerful way of gaining captivated listeners right off the bat!
Start with a prop.
Susan Cain shows us the power of props when engaging an audience. She uses a physical object to recreate her first summer camp experience, captivating viewers with its vivid visuals and adding a dramatic effect that keeps everyone’s eyes glued on hers while she takes center stage.
Jokes that convert: laugh and learn
Pamela Meyer highlights how powerful a combination of humor and surprise can be in giving an engaging talk. Her opening statement – essentially accusing the person to her right of being liar – grabs everyone’s attention, which propels them through her thought-provoking presentation featuring shocking statistics like “on any given day, we’re lied to up to 200 times”. Since it was uploaded online 13 million people have watched this eye-opening speech!
Use the word “imagine.”
Ric Elias invites his audience to use their imaginations and enter the harrowing scene of a plane crash survivor. Drawing from personal experience, he challenges them to “think of” or “picture this,” allowing for an even more immersive story-telling experience.
If you found this work to be valuable, help enhance it by sharing your thoughts and ideas with the community. Your presentation hooks can inspire others – join the conversation and make a difference!
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