Get People to Love You in One Minute

Coaching speakers and comics, I give the opening the most attention.  Openings are hard!  Why?  Because often you’re walking into a room full of people who are already busy doing something (web surfing, texting, ordering drinks, flirting, etc. ) where you – and your topic – are not included.

So -- how do you grab an audience’s attention when they have a complete entertainment center on their phone?  And how do you get an audience of complete strangers to focus on your message?

Here is the secret -- open with their favorite topic: THEM!

In my book, “The Message of You,” I have an exercise where I ask readers to phone a few people who are going to be in their audience and ask them, “For you, what are some problems that happen on a bad day?”

Then, just mentioning some of those problems at the start of your speech or standup act is a sure fire way to engage everyone -- especially if you do it with some humor.

One quick way to do this is to put the audiences’ problem into the “List of Three” formula: general problem, general problem, their specific problem.

For example:

“There are a lot of problems in the world, like terrorism (general), tornadoes (general), and cafeterias that are always out of spoons (their specific problem).”

You’ll get their attention – and get them to laugh.

Do you have more ideas on how to use this formula?  Post with your “List of Three” and the top 5 funniest will get a free download of "How to Create Observational Humor."


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  2. Headed to a school district tomorrow. How about "global warming; seemingly endless Oregon springtime rains; students texting from their laps." (No high school student looks that intently at their crotch in public for any other reason!)

  3. It's hard finding clothing for a six foot tall woman, either the sleeves are too short, the legs are too short, or the clothes look like they were designed by a blind person.

    1. It's hard finding clothing for a six foot tall woman, either the sleeves are too short, the legs are too short or I realize im shopping at baby gap

  4. I hate having to give my cat a bath, first you need to have the pet shampoo ready, then you need the water at just the right temperature, and finally you have to figure out where the cat is hiding.

  5. Its tough talking to women nowadays you gotta do to much work even before you say hi...you gotta check if your breath smell ok..gotta make sure your clothes are neat...and you gotta check and see if she has an adams apple....kbye

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  7. Marriage is hard right, 50% chance of success. I am my husband’s 4th wife! He had me sign a prenuptial agreement, if I leave him & take everything; I have to take him with me. Rena McNut & Bryce Baker.

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  9. (to the tune of We Are the World) Sing along with me ladies: We are the women, we have the hormones. We can make a better day or make you miserable. Misplaced my keys, can't find my car now, but give a little time and I'll turn on the charm now. We are the women, we have the hormones, there are more words to this song but I can't remember them.

  10. There are A LOT of problems in this world like poverty, homelessness and the biggest of all, raising a teenager!!


Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.