Start Your Speech with a Powerful Hook

Start Your Speech with a Powerful Hook

Start Your Speech with a Powerful Hook

Start Your Speech with a Powerful Hook

Are you wondering how to start your speech? Are you wondering what separates a boring speaker from one who is engaging and successful? It has been my experience, after making hundreds of presentations, that you must start your speech with a powerful hook. Having a powerful hook at the beginning of your speech marks you as a confident and prepared presenter. As an entrepreneur, you want to make a great first impression.  Remember, you can use public speaking to attract  new clients. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, speaking on a regular basis helps you quickly overcome your fear of public speaking. Having a scripted and rehearsed hook as part of your opening helps you start your speech strong.

1. What is a Hook?

What is a “hook?” A hook is defined as something designed to catch your audience’s. attention. You want to start your speech with a powerful hook. You use your “hook” to reel in the audience to focus on your message. As the presenter, once you start your speech you want to grab their attention immediately. Those first 30 seconds are crucial.

2. Examples of a Hook

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is an example of how to start your speech with a great hook.  Lincoln started by saying, “Four score and 7 years ago, our fathers bought forth on this continent a new nation.” He could have easily said “87 years ago.” But he chose to make the audience think about what he had to say.

In music, the “hook” is usually the catchy chorus that everyone remembers. I just love the hook from “Happy.” Just a few years ago everyone was walking around singing, “cause I’m happy.”  We may not have known any other words from the song, but we knew the “hook”.

Here are a few songs with my favorite hooks: (1) “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (2) “Beat It” (3) “I Will Survive.”

3. Ways to Hook Your Audience

Bruna Martinuzzi, in a recent article, discusses “12 Ways to Hook an Audience in 30 Seconds.”  A few of the hooks she mentioned are: (1) a story; (2) a quote; and (3) statistics.

Martinuzzi, also talks about the power of using a series of rhetorical questions. According to Martinuzzi, a series of questions stimulates the audience’s mind as they ponder the answers.

These are four great ways to start a speech or presentation. Telling a quick story, sharing an interesting quote or statistic, or asking a series of questions engages your audience’s emotions.  These are powerful ways to get their attention.

I prefer to use questions to engage the audience’s attention in the beginning of a presentation. I usually use two questions to pull the audience into the conversation I plan to have with them. From the beginning, I signal that this is not a lecture. We will be having a conversation.

Even if the organizer calls your presentation a lecture, let your audience know otherwise. You and the audience will be interacting with each other. Your “hook” will set the stage for the conversation to follow.

Conclusion/Call to Action

Are you ready to make a fabulous first impression with your next speech or presentation? Then you need to start your speech with a powerful hook. There are several hooks you can use to capture your audience’s attention in those first 30 seconds. For example, you could use:

  1. A series of questions
  2. A story
  3. Statistics
  4. A quote

Use a “hook” to set the stage for a powerful interaction between you and your audience.


At My Biz Dream Team, we can show you how to develop an internet lifestyle business that can help you reach your money goals. Check out The Strategic Pathway to Success Program™. Let us show you how to reach your goal of creating a lifestyle and a business that you love! Act today.

 I am Pamela Montgomery, attorney, author, entrepreneur, and speaker, helping you create the life of your dreams as you achieve uncommon results in your business and in your life!



Also published on Medium.

One Response to “Start Your Speech with a Powerful Hook”

  1. Tanya Brockett, MBA

    Thanks for the reminder, Pam. This article reminded me of one speaker, Craig Valentine, who does this so well. When your hook also becomes a memorable phrase, your audience will never forget you. Great topic.
    Tanya Brockett, MBA recently posted…Are your goals SMART, DUMB, or MIA?My Profile