Speak Like a CEO by Oliver Aust

9 Killer Opening Lines to Hook Any Audience

Published 2 months ago • 2 min read

9 Killer Opening Lines to Hook Any Audience

Mastering public speaking takes years of practice.

But no matter how much you practice your body language, storytelling and voice, you need to grab the attention of your audience at the start of your talk.

And for this, you only have 3 seconds. So instead of a dull introduction, try using one of these 9 hooks to connect with your audience immediately:


Surprise them - “Our industry is in a terrible state...That’s what I could have said ten years ago.”


Highlight a problem - “We waste 10 hours a week in meetings. Here’s how we reclaim that time.”


Shock with statistics - “Workplace crime costs businesses like yours 50 billion a year.”


Ask a provocative question - “Why has our industry underperformed this year?”


Show a prop - I once showed a glass of volcanic ash when reporters asked why planes can't fly near eruptions.


Invite them to dream - “Imagine a society where waste is a thing of the past.”


Ask the audience - “Who here has dealt with a difficult customer this year?”


Create suspense - “90% of startups think they have a great product, yet 90% fail. Are they wrong or is something else at play?”


Start with a story - “Our founder was so poorly treated he was determined customers would never suffer like he did.”

Steal one of these killer opening lines for your next talk and notice its impact.

Three Ways I Can Help You

Whenever you are ready, here are three things I can help you achieve so you can communicate like the world's top CEOs:

  1. Speak Like a CEO: Leadership communications with impact
  2. Become Unignorable: The proven way to becoming a thought leader
  3. Build a Message Machine: Turn your company into an agile communications machine

Book your free clarity call for 1:1 coaching with me here​.

The Rise of the Creator CEO

With AI on the rise, your unique voice and insights will only increase in value. That’s why we’re seeing more “social CEOs” and “creator CEOs.”

This week on the podcast, SmartChiefs founder Laura Lewandowski and top CEO advisor Julius Bachmann share how leaders can integrate content creation and creativity into their busy lives.

Key takeaway: In a complex world, combining creativity and entrepreneurship will drive the success stories of tomorrow. Tune in to find out how you can maximize your creative potential.

Listen on Spotify and Apple:

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs revolutionized product launches through meticulous presentation preparation. In the excellent book "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs," Carmine Gallo analyzes the skills and tactics that made Jobs such a captivating presenter.

Key insights include:

  • Jobs planned presentations in analogue first, not PowerPoint
  • He always explained why the audience should care
  • He drew a clear roadmap and broke announcements into narrative acts
  • He introduced a "villain" that Apple would conquer
  • Every visual was simplified to be extremely engaging
  • He refined through extensive rehearsals until it looked effortless.

If you want to deliver more inspiring and persuasive presentations like Steve Jobs, study this book to learn from one of the masters. You can also check out this post on the highlights from the book. Highly recommended!

Have a great weekend!



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