20 years of storytelling for business by international trainers and storytellers Speakers' Corner
International trainers and storytellers

All that matters is the first 30 seconds

If you want your audience to listen to your full message, make sure you get them hooked in the first 30 seconds.

It used to be said that the perfect pop song lasted 3 minutes. Now all of this is changing because of the way streaming services, like Spotify, pay royalties only if the track is played for longer than 30 seconds.

So songwriters are now looking to make their openings more memorable and impactful, with catchier vocals.  This way they can earn a living.

This 30 seconds emphasis is just the same for someone making a presentation: if you don’t get your audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds, chances are, you’ve already lost them.

How can you achieve this with a presentation or speech? Here are 3 ways which really do work:

  1. Ask your audience a question. One which is relevant, different and intriguing. Try it, people love to answer questions. It brings them all together.
  2. Tell them a story. Again it should be relevant. But if it comes out of the theme of the meeting or reveals a personal side of your life, which is meaningful to your message, it will create a bond.
  3. Use a dramatic visual hook. Remember when Bill Gates came on stage with a bottle full of mosquitoes and released them into the audience? He was talking about the need to overcome malaria. Even though his mosquitoes were not malaria-carriers, of course, he made his case unforgettably in the first 30 secs with this one powerful action.

Don’t fail in your first 30 seconds – say something that matters and get your audience hooked.