Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Friday, July 22, 2011

Speakers: How is Your “First Burst?”

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Bryan Flanagan, Guest Author

How many times have you heard a presenter begin a presentation with “Thanks for being here. The restrooms are outside on the right. Man, it is a hot one today, isn’t it?” This is less than overwhelming … in fact, it isn’t whelming at all.

When making a presentation, often times the greatest challenge is deciding how to begin! Let me share with you the concept of “First Burst.” Your “First Burst” should launch your presentation. The purpose of “First Burst” is to grab the attention and hold the interest of your audience. It sets the tone and the mood of your presentation and positions you to begin. It also helps support your theme or message.

You should practice, rehearse, memorize, and/or choreograph your “first burst.” This is your opening sentence or paragraph. The purpose of the “first burst” is to grab the attention AND the interest of your audience.

There are several ways to accomplish this. These include Quotable Quotes, Startling Statements, Contrast/Comparisons, Quizzical Questions, Staggering Statistics, Hilarious Humor, and Pointed Poetry. Let’s look at examples of each of these.

Quotable Quotes:

Zig Ziglar often says, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” My purpose is to explore how we can help our associates reach their goals.

Staggering Statistics:

23% of all statistics are wrong! This is another reason our department must stop focusing on numbers and begin to focus on people!


Fear and faith have the same definition. That definition is: believing what you don’t see will happen. Today, I want to encourage you to choose faith!

Quizzical Questions:

What great adventure would you undertake if you knew you wouldn’t fail? I want to explore how our fears hold us back from reaching our goals.

Startling Statements:

There are five reasons your customers don’t buy from you: no want, no need, no money, no hurry and no trust. Our purpose today is to learn how to overcome these sales objections.


Click book for more info!

Hilarious Humor:

We have a lot of interesting people with us today. Get to know Dr. Ralph Watts. Dr. Watts is a veterinarian and a taxidermist! That’s right. He’s got a sign in his office that says “Either way, you get your dog back!” As we go through this project we will get to learn about all the other interesting people on our committee.

Pointed Poetry:

Nipsy Russell shares great wisdom when he says:

“Don’t be a fool, go to school and stay until you are through…

‘Cause if they can make penicillin from molded bread, think what they can do with you!” Let’s discuss what our potential and possibilities are.

I hope that these examples are of some benefit to you. Remember, the purpose of the First Burst is to launch your talk. You will have to modify this concept to best fit your situation. Your First Burst should be practiced, rehearsed, and maybe even memorized. However, when used correctly, presenters are often given a credit for an intelligence they don’t necessarily possess!

Good luck and good presenting!

Copyright 2011 – Bryan Flanagan. Reprinted with permission. Bryan Flanagan is the VP of Sales and Training for the Zig Ziglar Corporation. Bryan invested 14 years with IBM and the last 27 years serving Zig’s clients. He enjoys contributing to the success of others. The author of numerous training programs, his books include “Now Go Sell Somebody Something!” and “So, You’re New to Sales.” His latest CD Set is “Bryan Flanagan on Sales and Motivation.” Visit Bryan’s Website! You can connect with Bryan by sending an e-mail.


Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

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