Need Creative Idea

Posted on 2004-11-13
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
I wrote a speech on email spam where I talk of the problems it causes and a possible solution to it. It begins with the opening line:

"Today I want to talk about a problem that affects every single person in the US."

Do you guys have any ideas for a stronger openning that will grab my audience's attention. The one I am using is pretty weak and generic.

Also, I need some ideas for the conclusion. So far mine basically states that my plan will make the lives' of spammers suck and email will be enjoyable again. I need some ideas to make it more interesting, more conclusive (give a finishing feel to the speech), and possibly funny.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated and thanx in advance.
Question by:andrey_2007
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Maybe "affects" isn't the right word, perhaps something like annoys or bothers etc, basically "how" it affects them.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    andrey please remember also that not every single person in the US has a computer or uses email.

    "If you own or use a computer today the topic of my presentation affects each of you.  What you choose to do with the information I present to you is your choice.  Your decision to do or not do could affect everyone you communicate with."

    This would be a different way to open your presentation.  
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    costs you money
    Money always catches
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Spam is a drain on U.S. corporate budgets to the tune of $10 billion dollars this year, according to Ferris Research. The figure includes lost productivity plus the cost of spam-fighting hardware and software, and the IT staff needed for combat.

    56 percent of global spam e-mail originates in the U.S. Promoting drugs is the aim of 30 percent of all spam, with Viagra alone accounting for 14.1 percent of spam.

    Base your introduction with true but eye-catching facts, do some examples with how much every consumer of the antispam software spends every year just to protect themselves, that would be hundred of dollars. This is a realistic sample of true figures extracted from a brittish magazine. Imagine a scenario where no-one would stand up and fight the nearly 10 million spam e-mails that are sent daily.

    This is a speech that you should base on emotions, that's all there is since we've all been there, felt the frustation, felt the anger over those viagra e-mails.
    Good luck, hope it works out.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    My introduction has many eye catching statistics such as the one's Bjorn mentioned. I am having trouble thinking of the first few opening lines of my intro that will lead into the statistics and such.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Just do a couple of bland lines of introduction like you've already suggested you have written and let the statistics provide the hook for you.
    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    You could start with :

    Did you curse your computer today?
    Did you have to scan it for viruses this week?
    did you have to reinstall it completely this year?

    Then I have some news for you !

    As for the end you could turn the opening around that  :
    "you should not reinstall your computer each year"

    or : "Now you can go to work, and i mean WORK ! not repairing it, or keeping it in shape !
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    Stronger, hmmmm

    "I'm going to kill the next mother ____________________ that spams me!" (and pump your shotgun), you will have everyone's undivided attention, guarenteed....


    "Today I will be speaking of perhaps the greatest nusiance of the 21 st century, junk email. Not only does cost businesses billions of dollars every year in productivity, but it also consumes nearly 1 forth of the internets bandwidth, slowing down computer networks world wide."

    With something like that, you could easily lead straight into your statistics re-enforcing your first two statements. Just put some force into your voice....

    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    Perhaps you can worded in better english

    **opening **

    Spammers to the left
    Annoyed userd to the right
    [pause] I see all of you are annoyed ... [your speech]

    If any spammer in the room, I strongly advise you to leave, as you are not welcome
    I guess everyone of you would start this way a speech about the spam, like I am going share with you today ... [your speech]

    ** Closing **

    I thank all spammers, w/o whose hard work I wouldn't have been here giving you my speech.
    LVL 31

    Assisted Solution

    I don't beleive much in the "style over substance" credo that seems to impregnate a lot of people doing presentations. While there is nothing wrong with making an introduction flashy, cathy and funny, the contents must be allowed to speak for themselves. If you truly have something to show these people, they'll notice soon enough (if thery're the right people in the right place). It may be even more impressive by starting off in a dry, matter-of-fact fashion and then build up a strong case with a well-rehearsed and to-the-point presentation.

    "Good evening. I'll give you a speech on spam an spam prevention methods. I'm convinced I'll keep your ears riveted to my mouth"

    I wish you all the best on this venture!
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    Rhetoric questions are the best way followed by statistics. Use emotive language:

    "Is your life affected by spam? Statistics show over *NUMBER* of american citizens suffer from the bombardment of this derogatory, unwanted and annoying thing called SPAM." Then you use more rhetorical questions backing up with statistics:

    "How much of your day is taken over by spam? It has been shown that up to *percentage* of an employees working day is consumed through filtering and removing spam. This is unproductive and causes frustration, which i am sure you have all experienced" (addressing and capturing audience attention).



    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    In response to rid's comments:  I understand where you are coming from saying that it should be substance over style, but in my personal experience I have noticed that regardless of the listeners' intents on being there "right people in the right place", you must grab your listener's attention right away in order to keep them listening throughout the speech.  Also, if you start with something catchy - but leading to the hard facts, listeners (even ones with no interest in the topic at hand) will pay more attention and want to find out where you are going with your findings and hypothesis to fix the issue.

    andrey_2007 - I agree that you need a catchy opening and closing to grab hold of your audience, keep them there, then send them off with a great closing that will make them hold the information they learned.  Also, if possible know your audience before hand.  And use an opening that pertains to them.

    If you have a young audience you can try something that may make them laugh - maybe use some of the common subject lines from junk mail that most people recognize, for instance "I just got my first webcam!" or "Need new auto insurance?"  or "Save on prescription drugs!" - then use something funny to go along with it - for instance "How many times have you checked your e-mail only to see "Need new auto insurance?", now I know if I switched auto insurance every time I saw that e-mail, (insert some funny punch line - sorry, I am not much of a comic)"

    OR if you have an audience of working adults of business men and women then maybe emphasis in the beginning your understanding of how little space e-mail providers offer, and how you wish that every time Fred in Accounting sends you the new reports, it isn't bumped into the forever lost realm of junk mail, or the "Hi My name is Cami" e-mail beats Fred's e-mail to the last 1% of space you had remaining in your account.

    So in sum, from this long comment - know your audience first, then base your attention getting catchy opening around where their hearts truly lie in the problem with junk/spam mail.
    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    I think that the best opening should be something like spam itself - like :
    Which one of you would like to make a lot of money - get free deals - or even get the secret big prize of the night ???
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    As for the closing lines I'd recommend something like - Before you exit please leave us your e-mail for further contact....

    Expert Comment

    What about coming on to the 'Spam' song by Monty Python?
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    Thanks ;)

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