This morning I was in a breakout session at a large conference. The breakouts are for specific content, with actionable results.
For some unknown reason, the person in charge of introducing the speaker felt necessary to spend two minutes to, “give you a little background about me and what I do.” Why would any person asked to introduce a speaker think that was appropriate?
Then the main presenter, who is a “name” in that space, spent the next 18 of his remaining 43 minutes pandering to the audience, trying to build rapport by telling us what an average Joe he is.
You can open your speech (or blog, marketing presentation, appeal to donors, etc.) talking about how great it is to be in [city], and how you always loved it, wanted to visit, heard great things, blah, blah. You can tell funny stories about your children or grandchildren that all parents can relate to. You can use phony audience participation tactics and cheesy NLP techniques to manipulate the attendees.
Or you could grab them by the throat by opening with the powerful and relevant content they came for in the first place.
Which approach do YOU take?