Why I Folded a Towel to Start a Presentation

“Raise your hand if you have a particular way of folding your towels.”

This was my opening line, followed by a demonstration of my towel folding expertise. I shared that my husband complies with my request for this specific folding technique. [You have to wisely pick your battles and this wasn’t on the top of his list.]

My towel escapade was a blast. I had fun and the audience did too. It was unusual, funny and fun!

I promise there is a point to my towel demonstration.

Though I insisted my husband fold towels my way, with this audience, my intention  was to convince them, “my way is NOT the only way” with the material I was to teach them at this session. They needed to know I respected their agency in this training. That point was made after my demonstration.

Openings can be blast. Heather, a recent client referenced Winnie the Pooh, MaryAnn quoted her mother, Angela told a personal story,  Lori-Anne shared a mythological story with a moral that set the perfect context to her presentation.

With the multitudes of ways to open your speech, presentation or meeting, how will you open your next speech or meeting?

Talk Tip:
Think beyond the normal go-to openings. Seek out something creative, different, unusual or surprising. Perk your audience’s attention from the get-go.

I’m all for innovative ways to open, but remember your opening sets the context for the rest of your speech. So find an opening that speaks to your topic and theme. An effective opener welcomes the audience onboard and keeps them there for the rest of the ride.