Your Own Words

A regular reader enjoyed the ‘End Strong’ feature piece last month and it prompted him to ask a question. ‘Do you have an opinion on opening or closing a presentation with quotes from other people? I heard long ago that you want the audience’s first and last impressions to be of your own words, not those of someone else.’

In response, I indicated that I suggest my executive coaching clients start strong and grab the audience’s attention immediately. Using a pertinent quote, statistic, fact, question, etc all can work. I haven’t hear the suggestion to start and end with you own words instead before. I’m more interested in how effective, compelling and engaging those words are than whose words they are.

In crafting strong endings for my own presentations, my last words often involve restating the content’s value proposition or the call to action for the audience – usually my words. But, I might reconnect to the original attention-getting quote or statistic if it works better. So, go with what works best for you … your audience and your objectives.