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Personalisation Opener


Techniques Public speaking > Preparing the Presentation > Personalisation Opener

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Connect the problem you are going to talk about directly to the audience. Show that the problem is important to them.

One way of doing this is to connect the problem to the audience by a sequence of cause and effect, showing that the problem causes another problem (and so on) until it hits the audience. Another way is to expose a hidden link that nobody has noticed.


AIDS is something that happens to others, isn't it? But did you know that it is the fastest growing social disease, particularly in the over-50s? That the caution of the 80s has been blown to the winds of carelessness? That around 8% of your workforce is HIV positive and will be taking increasing days off before dying in service? AIDS is your problem, ladies and gentlemen, and will increasingly become so.

You may know that over a third of young people who have left school are on the streets, without education or employment. Crime rates have also started increasing again, especially in burglary of houses where everyone is out working. And most household alarm systems can be quickly disabled by most thieves. Could you hold up your hand if your house is empty now? Hmm. That's quite a lot.


Many people understand problems but do not take them to heart and do not really care about them. By connecting the problem directly to your audience, you will grab their attention. By showing them how it is relevant to them, you will make them want to resolve the problem.

The presentation using this opener is typically one of two types. First, it can be about the problem, such as when a person wants to talk about AIDS, spreading the word and maybe getting the audience to be personally more careful.

Another type of presentation is when you are selling something, such as advanced household alarm systems, that resolves a particular problem. By getting your audience to realize that the problem affects them, you are likely to sell significantly more.

See also

Attention principle


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