I recently spoke to a group of Insurance sales professionals in Dubai. All high performing achievers. And strangers except their Head, who had invited me. It was important to connect and build that crucial rapport.
I opened with ” I have great respect for Insurance professionals because you are the most persuasive and persistent lot. I used to spurn life insurance salesmen.However, my friend Murali came in and said ‘ I don’t want to put pressure on you. Here is a brochure on life insurance. Read this and go to sleep. And, IF you wake up tomorrow, give me a call ! Needless to add, I signed up right away !
The hearty laughter ensured I had bridged the gap between an otherwise suspicious audience and went on with my pitch to “Unleash your Humor Quotient”.
To paraphrase Toastmaster and humorist Jerry Starke, the more specific your speech opener, the more terrific it is !