How To Make Your Audience Say, “Oh No, I’m Hooked”

“Oh no! I'm hooked!” That was the exclamation that escaped my lips, not in frustration but in sheer delight, upon discovering Woobles; these sweet little, ready-made crochet kits! Cornelius, a delightful little stuffed bee, was a thoughtful present that led me down a rabbit hole of bright images and the promise of simple joy in learning to crochet. 

The Woobles’ allure wasn't just in their cuteness, but in their ability to tell a story that I suddenly wanted to be a part of. With a guaranteed audience from Seylah, my one-month-old granddaughter!, and guilt-free Netflix binging because I can crochet and watch at the same time, crocheting seemed like the perfect rekindled hobby.

And, as a an avid (and truly geeky) marketer, I am always analyzing marketing; the good and the bad. I couldn't help but draw parallels between Woobles' masterful marketing and the art of delivering a meaningful financial presentation. It served as a vivid reminder that a good hook isn't just for crochet enthusiasts; it's for anyone who wants to capture an audience's 
ever-fading attention.

Our world is filled with data, jargon, and acronyms. And, we often forget that a presentation's opening can make or break audience engagement. Traditional sales decks are like a firm handshake and a business card—they tell you all the 'WHO' before you even know the 'WHY'. 

Let’s flip the script. 

What if we start with the 'WHY'? Why should they listen, watch, read, pay attention?

That's what reporters do; that's what million-hit YouTubers do. They hook you in the first few seconds because they know that's all they have.

And I did just that last week during a fractional CMO/consulting project, helping a team of elite advisors create some new sales presentations – and prepare for a webinar. 

I proposed we start the webinar presentation with the 'WHY.' Why should the audience pay attention? What is in it for them? How were we going to keep them on our Zoom and out of their email? 

We led with four compelling benefits tailored to address the leaders' challenges straight out of the gate. We crafted a narrative that resonated, that made them nod along, that piqued their curiosity. 

Interestingly, we didn’t get to the 'WHO' of the firm until the middle of the conversation. And then it was wrapped up in a story of a client’s success.

The result? A presentation that was as memorable as it was engaging. It stood out like a brightly colored Wooble in a sea of muted presentations, and it drove the point home—hooks work.

The next time you're gearing up for your next sales presentation or webinar, ask yourself: What's your 'Cornelius'? How will you make your audience say, "Oh no, I'm hooked"? Think about it. Then lead with it. 

It’s guaranteed to make you unforgettable.

Related: Helping an Audience Remember