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How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World's Most Inspiring Presentations, revised and expanded new edition, with a foreword by Richard St. John and an afterword by Simon Sinek by Jeremey Donovan

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CHAPTER 5

Opening Your Talk

TIP 37: Hook and guide your audience in your opening.

In literature, structure is a liberating force for creativity, rather than a limiting constraint. This is evident in the five-seven-five rhythm of the haiku and in the sonnet form, which both give rise to infinite beauty and variation. I feel that the same phenomenon holds true in the world of speechcraft. There should always be a clear opening, body, and conclusion. The art is in how the speaker fills the canvas.

Remember that the first minute or two, perhaps even the first 10 or 20 seconds of your speech, is the peak of your audience’s engagement level. It is not going to get any better as one by one your listeners become distracted by their mental grocery lists. ...

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