Have you ever attended a workshop or presentation and the opening comments from the speaker were somewhat lackluster? How did you feel? Were you excited and eager to hear more? Most likely not. One of the most important parts of a speech is the beginning. The start sets the stage for the remainder of the presentation. The goal of every speaker should be to motivate participants to listen attentively throughout his/her entire presentation. To do this, a strong opening is necessary.
What makes an opening strong? According to Leadership Strategies, a strong opening immediately captivates the participant’s attention, interest and buy-in at the beginning. One successful method that trainers employ is the IEEI – Inform, Excite, Empower, Involve – method. Below is a brief description of how to utilize the IEEI method at the beginning of a presentation.
· Inform the audience about the session purpose.
EXAMPLE – “The purpose of this workshop today is to _________.
When we are done, you will be able to__________.”
· Excite participants about the benefits of this presentation.
EXAMPLE – “By completing this program, you will achieve ________, and this will help you_________.”
· Empower attendees by discussing the significant role they have been given by completing this training session.
EXAMPLE – “You were selected to participate in this critical educational session because of _________.”
· Involve audience members by asking them their personal objectives for the workshop.
EXAMPLE – “Because your involvement matters, please tell me what your personal objectives are for this training session?”