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Speak Like a CEO by Oliver Aust

10 Killer Opening Lines to Captivate Any Crowd

Published about 1 month ago • 3 min read

This week: 10 Killer Opening Lines to Captivate Any Crowd / NEW: The Speak Like a CEO Academy / The New Art and Science of Selling / How To Not Bore People To Death

10 Killer Opening Lines to Captivate Any Crowd

Four out of five business professionals stopped paying attention during the last presentation they watched (Forbes).

The problem: The presenter didn’t catch their attention from the get-go. In reality, we only have a few seconds before people decide if they will listen to us.

Whether you're inspiring employees, pitching investors, or present your quarterly update to the team, your opening line can make or break your speech.

So I thought it would be useful for me to share 10 powerful ideas to open your next speech or presentation.

One thing to be aware of:

The Sledgehammer (h/t to Michael Margolis) is very effective in getting attention, but it might be hard to change someone’s mind afterwards.

The Ice Cream Cone, on the other hand, is less attention grabbing but opens people’s minds. As always, context is everything (see below for examples).

Before we dive in, you may have seen that we will soon open enrollment for The Speak Like a CEO Academy.

I have never done anything like it before (and don’t think anyone has). It includes biweekly live group coaching sessions with me and other world-class experts, my brand-new presentation mastery course, an on-demand knowledge base with step-by-step templates and frameworks (aka a ‘second brain’), and peer-to-peer exchange.

The team and I will empower you to transform your communication skills in the most effective and efficient way. If you want to be one of only 50 founding members AND secure the lowest price the Academy will ever be, join the waiting list here.

And with that...

10 Killer Opening Lines to Captivate Any Crowd:

#1 The Ice Cream Cone

“Together, we've achieved remarkable milestones this year, and it’s just the beginning of what we can accomplish.”

#2 The Sledgehammer

“How would you feel if I told you that everything you know about technology is wrong?”

#3 The Riddle

“Why is it that 90% of startups fail?”

#4 The Startling Statistic

“Poor communication costs businesses $12,500 per employee every year.”

#5 The Anecdote

“Last year, I met a young girl in Ghana who had to walk five miles each day to collect clean water. Her story is the reason we are gathered here today.”

#6 The Quotation

“Gandhi famously said: Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

#7 The Silence

Don’t say anything for at least 10 seconds until everyone eagerly awaits what you have to say.

#8 The Inspirational Vision

“Imagine a world where every child has access to education. Today, we're taking a step to make that world a reality."

#9 The Personal Revelation

“5 years ago, I was broke and broken. Today I run a 7-figure enterprise. Let me share with you the lessons I learned turning chaos into clarity.”

#10 The Historical Reference

“On this day, 75 years ago, a computer made its first calculation. Today, we are on the brink of the next technological revolution.”

Next week I am going to share how you can end a speech or presentation with a bang.


PODCAST

The New Art and Science of Selling

We all sell, and selling is one of the oldest professions. However, selling has changed significantly in recent years, and businesses that don’t adapt get left behind.

To find out what works in sales today, I invited Doug C. Brown, one of the world’s preeminent experts on sales and profit growth. Doug is the founder of CEO Sales Strategies, host of the CEO Sales Strategies Podcast, and author of several books on the art and science of selling.

He has advised the likes of Tony Robbins as well as multibillion-dollar companies on how to acquire, convert, and keep clients for life.

Doug shares actionable tips on finding the right target buyers, building trust, understanding their motivations, and crafting compelling messages that resonate. You'll also learn how to handle rejection without taking it personally, how to activate word-of-mouth marketing, how to hire a sales team. To succeed in this brave new world of sales, check out the episode or my post that summarizes my main take-aways.

Listen on Spotify and Apple:

BOOK

How To Not Bore People To Death

Every presentation is an opportunity to make an impact and change the future. The alternative? You bore the audience to death with another crappy PowerPoint. It’s up to us – argues award-winning presentation designer Kris Flegg in his brand-new book "The Presentation Playbook".

Kris equips us with battle-tested strategies and tactics to craft presentations that command attention, leaving a lasting impact. Kris (who will be a guest on my podcast soon) shares his 5 principles to make them suck less. If you want to learn more about his 5 principles, check out my post on them here.

Have an inspired weekend!

Best,

Oliver

PS: Share this newsletter with your friends & colleagues here.

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