Perhaps the most neglected part of any speech is the title. A real good title can make listeners say, "I'd like to hear that speech." A poor title can make them say, "That speech doesn't sound promising." A catchy, clever title is the greatest asset for a speaker. It is like a bright light that blinks, "LISTEN TO ME". Or as they say in the navy, "Now Hear This". A title should grab attention, awaken interest, arouse curiosity, or stimulate feelings.
Use words such as You or Your. Why would listeners respond to these words? Because they denote one-to-one personal relationships between the listeners and the speaker. They ensure listener identification. By using you and your, which address the listener directly, the speaker implies that the speech is tailor-made for the listener.
Use other influential words such as How to, Secret, Magic, Power, and Miracle. These words act like a huge magnet. They signal inside information and expertise.
Use a number in your title. This is an effective device because then the title will say to the listener, "Follow this number of steps and you will obtain all of the many advantages listed." The use of a set of numbers in the title will help listeners outline their thoughts.
Ask a Question A question is an method of involvement. The question title will arouse the curiosity of the listener, provoke a desire for answers, and propel the listener into the body of the speech to find the correct answers. Also, the question mark, which looks like an inverted hook, truly hooks the interests of the listeners.
Use the word New in your title. People are interested in new methods and any solutions to problems that improve or make their lives easier. Also, they are interested in knowing several of the latest developments to avoid being the last to find out or being ignorant.
Combine two or more of the techniques into one title. If each technique is very effective by itself, a combination will definitely be one sure-fire winner. Effective titles talk to your audience before you even say a word. For your next speech, try one or more of these techniques to "Make Your Title Talk".
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