Of the 140+ posts on this blog, here’s by far the most popular…
At its peak, that post had more than 22,000 monthly views (in October 2016). That wasn’t just an outlier, either – for 3 months in 2016, the post had more than 20,000 monthly views. And for 11 months that year, it had over 10,000.
It’s also generated by far the most comments of all my posts – from about 60 people. And the vast majority of those people just asked me to write their opening line for them! (Perhaps I should’ve charged for my replies 😊)
Clearly then, lots of people are searching online for an opening line for their talk or presentation. And seemingly – given that all my other posts get less traffic – they’re looking much less for help with other aspects of their talk.
If that describes you, I urge you to think again.
Why do I say that? Well, although your opening line’s important, it’s not the most important aspect of your talk.
For instance, here are 3 things I rate as being more crucial than your opening line:
- Your key message
- Your focus on audience action
- Your use of pauses (to let people absorb what you say)
Thinking for a moment, what other features of your talk might you add to that list?
What about storytelling? Or a clear structure? Or concrete examples that bring your words to life?
The truth is – as I’ve said before – there are many key ingredients to any great talk. So (just like your avoidance of bullet points, or perhaps your use of Keynote instead of PowerPoint, or any other single technique)…
Please don’t treat your opening line as a magic bullet
Over to you
Do you agree? How do you rate the importance of your opening line compared to other parts of your presentation?
By all means share your views in the comments – or through Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Also check out
- Quick! Make your talk’s key message sticky
- Be the spark! Ignite ACTion with your talk (F!RST framework – part 2)
- When you speak, how often and how long should you pause? Best answer: “Try 1-2-3”
- Awesome opening lines: 20+ more examples for your speeches, from Patricia Fripp (Certified Speaking Professional)
- Today’s most popular posts, and the latest visitor comments