The best way to present new information is a story.
The best way to get a listener to focus on your story is to start with a question.
Did you ever feel your body lurch to answer when someone asked a good question?
In direct mail, a proven start is the “Passover Opening” from “Why is tonight like no other night?” initiating the remembrance of the Passover.
The Passover Opening in direct mail is three short one paragraph questions to focus the reader on the context of the story that follows.
A question is also a great way to start a speech or a presentation.
A document management software company was building a presentation for a “must-have” account. We all agreed the opening question was the most important part to getting the sale.
When the presentation started, the presenter raised is hand, cocked his head, and said,
“How many of you...in this room...have ever lost a document...in your own computer?”
Everyone in the audience raised their hand, and their comments made all the points planned for the presentation.
Where have you used opening questions successfully?
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