Your audience will decide in seconds whether to tune in or out. The trick is to be slightly different.

Suppose your topic is “What to Wear during a Pandemic.” Here’s what NOT to say:

“Hi, how are you all doing? It’s great to be here. I’m Paul Hellman, my company is Express Potential, and today, I’d like to talk about the importance of wearing a mask . . .”

Problem: no hook.

Instead, before you say good morning, or anything else, try:

1) Analogy: “Suppose I told you that my car has no seat belts, no air bags, and although the brakes don’t work—who cares!—I don’t believe in stopping anyway. Red lights are stupid.

“Would you get in my car? Doubt it.

“Not wearing a mask is like reckless driving. You could kill someone.

“Good morning, I’m Paul Hellman, and I’m here to talk about . . .

2) Show/Demo: Ask someone in the audience to time you. Then say, “Let’s see how long it takes to put one of these things on.” Pick up a mask (props work!), put it on, ask for the time.

Suppose it takes 3 seconds. Say, “3 seconds.” (Pause). “3 seconds. I know we’re all super-busy, but let’s talk about why those 3 seconds matter . . .

3) Story: “My wife and I were taking a walk the other day when a woman on a bike screamed at us. Our crime? We masked up as she approached.

‘YOU DON’T NEED A MASK,’ she yelled.

“Was she right? . . .

4) Imagine: “Imagine you’ve been invited to throw out the first pitch of a major league game. You practice and practice but on the night of the game, your pitch is a mile off.

“Embarrassing? Probably, but you don’t really care because your name is Dr. Fauci, your expertise is infectious diseases, not baseball, and your most important pitch—about masks and other preventive tactics—is spot on . . .

5) Question: “How would you feel if, later today, you killed a complete stranger? You didn’t mean to, it was an accident. But still, they’re dead, and you’re responsible.

“Over 213,000 Americans have died recently. Some were killed by complete strangers. Let’s talk about . . .

6) Key word, number, or phrase:  “69 cents.” (Pause). “69 cents. That’s the cost of a face mask at Walmart.

“What’s the cost of not wearing one?”

Tip: Open with flair.

P.S. YOU DON’T NEED A MASK on Zoom. Would any of these 12 webinars help your team?

Consider: The Power of Presence . . . Your Point? . . . Bulletproof Feedback . . . Challenging Conversations . . . Resilience @ Work . . .  Click here for all 12.

Please email or call 508-879-0934 for more info. Let’s sharpen your team’s skills, for now and later.

P.P.S. Rather just read a book?

You’ve Got 8 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World—named one of the best biz books of the year by an obscure, but obviously brilliant, Canadian newspaper.

Selected by a Fortune 50 company for their book club, translated into five languages, it has a 4.5 Amazon rating (180 reviews). Available in print, kindle and audio.

To get these fast tips, click here

PAUL HELLMAN consults & speaks internationally on how to make your point—fast, focused, powerful.

For more info please visit Express Potential or call 508-879-0934

© Copyright 2020 Paul Hellman.  All rights reserved.