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The Introduction of a Speech: Hooking the Audience. In this lesson, you will learn how
to make your presentation more interesting by starting in a unique way. You've learned that the introduction
of a speech consists of three parts. The greeting, context, and outline. The greeting should catch
audience's attention. You want them to be interested in you and
your topic. For the context, you are giving background information so that the audience understands
the bigger picture around your topic. In the outline, show the general
organization of your presentation so that the audience can follow
your ideas more easily. If many presentations are being
given at the same time, catching the audiences attention
may become challenging. Saying hello, and
your name is a good start. But how can you make your speech
stand out among the others? How can you make a busy professor,
peers, or future boss and clients see right away,
that your presentation will be special? If you want to make your introduction
more exciting, add a hook. The idea of the hook comes from
the process of going fishing. When you go fishing,
where do you want your fish? In the water or in your bucket? In your bucket, of course. Imagine that your audience members are fish. You want to pull your
audience to your topic. First, you need to hook them with
interesting snack that will get their attention. Then you slowly reel
them towards your topic. When they're close enough, they
are ready to land into your bucket and hear the rest of your presentation. There are many ways to hook your audience. One technique is to
give a surprising fact. If you are giving
a presentation about penguins, you could start by saying
not all birds can fly. If your talk is about heart disease, you could announce that there
are approximately 60,000 miles, 100,000 kilometers of blood
vessels in the human body. Your blood vessels would
wrap around the world twice. Another way is to tell a true story. Remember to keep it short. For instance, when I was a young child, my Chinese grandfather was horrified
to see me eating dinner with a fork. He said if you can't use chopsticks,
then you shouldn't eat at all. Rather than a true story,
you can create an imaginary scenario. Ask the audience to imagine what
the world will be like in 30 years, or what if Albert Einstein had never
discovered the theory of relativity. You can also bring a prop. A prop is any physical object. If your speech is about transportation, you could show the audience
the local bus or train schedule. Another technique is to ask
the audience a question. Welcome their answers, or get everyone to participate with a show
of hands, like, the bus or the train? Raise your hand if you
prefer travelling by bus. Now raise your hand if
you'd rather go by train. Yet another idea is to show
a thought provoking picture. Invite the audience to tell you
if they recognize this picture or to guess what happened there. The possibilities are endless. You can even mix and match several techniques at the same time, like show a thought-provoking picture. Have the audience pretend that they're in this scenario and ask them what they would
do in this situation. Remember that the goal of the hook
is to catch the audience's attention about your presentation topic. If you choose to use a hook,
make sure that it is interesting, connect it to the real goal of your talk,
and the audience will be naturally more excited about
the rest of your presentation. However, before you create a hook,
check that it is appropriate for your assignment. In some formal scientific conferences,
for instance, it may not be appropriate to start a presentation by telling
a personal story about your family. If you're not sure about any part of
your presentation, ask the professor. Send an email, or better yet,
go to the professor's office hours. Explain your creative idea and
ask if it is appropriate for this particular assignment. If your hook is boring or inappropriate,
it will not be successful. In this lesson you learned techniques for
getting the audience's attention. Please also keep in mind
that catching the audience's attention is only one
part of the introduction. You will still need to make sure that
everyone understands your topic and have heard a helpful list of the main points
that you will cover in your presentation. Do this, and your audience will love you.

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