Dale Carnegie is one of the world’s most popular personal development writers.
How to Win Friends and Influence People (first published in 1937) has now sold more than 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. Even more popular is than this was his guide to public speaking titled How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking.
This book contains dozens of fascinating insights for copywriters.
For example, I found the section on opening your speech especially useful.
According to Carnegie there are 6 ways to do this:
1. Start with a story
This works best if you’re sharing something from your personal life. Your story should also have some kind of action in it. This helps to engage the audience and grabs their attention. You could say something like, “Three nights ago, a dog was run over in the street outside my house.”
2. Trigger their curiosity
There are dozens of ways to do this. The easiest is to simply make a statement which leaves your audience wanting more. For example, “I was walking down main street this morning when I saw a man dressed in a bunny suit.” This type of statement makes the audience wonder. Who was he? Why was he dressed that way? Where was he going?
3. Use pictures
Instead of opening up the copy with words, why not use a picture? Before and after pictures are one of the best ways to do this. You could also use a picture that seems weird, unsettling, or confuses the viewer.
4. Talk about their personal interests
What does your audience care about? What affects them deeply? Here are two examples of this: “Do you know how long statistics say you are expected to live?”, “What I am about to discuss will affect your business, the price of food, and your quality of life.”
6. State a shocking fact
Surprising facts will always get your audience’s attention. “Did you know that leprosy still exists in 15 countries in the world today.”