[Image by Debbie Courson Smith of Pixabay]
How many times have you heard a speaker begin by saying…”Today I’m going to talk about…” or “Our agenda for today is…” When I hear my clients start their remarks this way, I tell them it’s too predictable and that equates to boring. Does this sound familiar?
- Why is predictable boring? The answer is that anything that’s predictable has the quality of sameness to it. Your listeners have heard it before so it’s not new for them.
- What are reasons we default to predictable? The answer is reasons may vary but the most common are that we’re running short on time, we believe it’s always been done this way, or a leader has used this approach and we think if it was good enough for that person, it’ll be good enough for me.
- How do we avoid being predictable? The answer is we make a decision to freshen it up and in so doing we step outside of our “comfort zone.”
- What are ways to avoid being predictable? The answer is you have many choices so here are a few options to consider. First, know what matters to your audience or what state of mind they’re in and do your best to address their needs. Second, try out a few different styles and audio/video record them so you can assess what sounds and looks best. Third, some ideas are: use a startling statistic, begin with a relevant quote, ask an insightful question, congratulate your listeners on a recent accomplishment, or employ a prop of some sort.
Whatever you use, determine the particular style you want to convey. Your opening remarks must be commensurate with this image and come across as sincere. Give it a try and let me know what questions or thoughts you have. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-664-6004.