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Give your speech a title.

Whenever you are asked to deliver a presentation, no matter how short, or apparently inconsequential, give it a title.

Ask to be introduced using the title. If this isn’t the norm in your environment, just doing it will pique interest. Even if it is the norm, the title itself will serve to pique the interest of your audience.

A title serves the same purpose as a headline in a newspaper. You decide, based on the headline, whether or not the article is likely to interest, and whether it’s worth your while reading further.

Many of our presentations are attended by people who aren’t particularly excited to be in the audience. You might, for instance, be delivering the financial statements for the last year at an AGM – just one of those “let’s get this done and over with” kind of presentations. But imagine if you were introduced as “Bill Maseka with his presentation, entitled ‘We’re Making Money – Big Time!’, or ‘What Went Down Must Go Up. Can It?’. You might have a better chance of your audience sitting up and really listening. Use the title on any handouts that you have too.

I’m sure you can think of some interesting ideas! Try for an interesting, less obvious, angle, that will get people curious. But, be sure that the title captures the essence of the speech.

The title will help you too. Word it to capture exactly what you want to achieve through your presentation, and you’ll keep yourself well on track as you prepare.

Always give your speech a title. Let people know that it’ll be worth hearing.