There are many ways to start a speech. One of them is outlining what you’re going to talk about. Watch how Guy Kawasaki does it in the first 90 seconds of his speech…

He tells us that he’s going to cover 10 points, and that telling your audience you’re going to cover X number of points signals to them that even if you’re boring, you’ll only be boring for a little while.

Starting a speech with an outline (“Here’s what I’m going tell you”) is common and familiar. However, personally, I think it’s kind of a weak way to start a speech. It’s like saying, “Honey, if the sex is bad, don’t worry, it will only last a few minutes.”

I like to see my clients take a little bigger risk, to challenge themselves a little bit more. But I understand why someone would start their speech this way. It’s safe. It’s logical. No one ever got killed for saying, “I’m going to tell you 10 things, and then I’m going to sit down.”

About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, Bucharest, and Sofia for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.