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Jackie Cameron

Hey Steve

Great advice

One of the 14 year old students this week in my public speaking class started with

"Do you remember your first day at school..." His classmates were a whole lot closer to that date than I am but it took me right back. In the rest of his speech he painted such vivid pictures we were there with him! But without that opening question we may not have connected in the first place.

Great lesson to learn and wonderfully explained by you - as always!

Joan Schramm

Steve --

How timely! I'm putting together a talk for some HR professionals about using social media to find a job, and how hiring managers can tap into this resource.

I've only outlined it in my mind so far, but I had planned to start out by asking, "How many of you here are on FB? Twitter? LinkedIn?"

Then I had a little story ready about a guy who tweeted himself out of a job offer by posting something on Twitter.

Nice to know I'm on the right track...and now you've given me the roadmap for the rest.


Steve Roesler


Aren't kids terrific? Each time you write a post or tell a story about working with young people, it brings a smile to my face.

Have you thought about video-taping some of the younger folks and perhaps putting some clips on the site? I'll bet others would enjoy it, too.

Steve Roesler

Break a leg, Joan.

The whole "How to Use Social Media With (Profession)" is a hot topic right now. You certainly have the know-how to light a fire. Let me know how it goes!

David Zinger


Good ideas for conducting a webinar where often the presenter and viewer/listener feel so disconnected.


Steve Roesler


No doubt a multitude of applications; hadn't thought specifically about that one. Should pass it along to Wayne Turmel.

Chris Witt


If I've got the time, I like combining three of your suggestions. I tell a story. I ask a question that's raised by the story. And I cite a statistic.

I'm not a big fan of props, but I've seen them used well. One guy, a magician and professional speaker, started off by pulling a bowling ball out of a briefcase. Problem is, he didn't link it strongly to his talk so I remember the stunt all these years later but not the point. Which is related to your insight that an opening has to capture the imagination (which it did) and draw people deeper into your topic (which it didn't do).


Steve Roesler


Too bad for Bowling Ball Boy; he missed a heck of an opportunity with such a memorable trick. I've seen bits of magic done in that context that were very effective and have often thought of learning a few tricks for fun. Turns out that some of those are a little more complicated than they look.




For point #3 - having some visuals will help this point along. I don't mean a slide-u-ment. I see linkage to Garr Reynolds here on the site, so taking some advice from his book on visually designing slides will help a meeting topic be memorable. Especially if everyone else just puts a bunch of slide-u-ments up on the screen then you'll really stand out.


Steve Roesler

MJ, that makes sense with your caveat that it helps open the mind's eye because it's a "grabber" a la Garr's design sense.

We've no doubt seen way too many slides intended to engage but whose design signaled that we were in for a bullet-pointed sleeper.

Good catch.

Wally Bock

Great post, Steve. I'm going to add it to the part of my presentation planning checklist devoted to the opening. Thanks.

Steve Roesler

Wally, pleased to know it will be used to further the cause of effectiveness. It's also part of an ebook and series of tips that will be available on the new website that will be launching shortly. More news on that in the days ahead.

Allison O'Neill

Scott at hellomynameisscott.com wrote about opening lines recently. He quoted the FUNNIEST THING!!! He knows someone that starts with "Do these pants make me look bald" (I love it!)

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