The Formula to Make Your Audience Want More

I'm on stage posing for a pic with my audience in Elko, Nevada

I’m on stage posing for a pic with my audience in Elko, Nevada

Over the years I’ve realized there is one formula that most speakers rarely use that, if they used, would keep their audiences hooked and hungry for the entire presentation. It doesn’t take long to put into place but it has a very long-lasting effect on the audience because it makes them constantly say, “Tell me more!”

Would you like to know what that formula is?


Tease them before you tell them


When I say, “Tease them before you tell them,” I mean find ways to make your audience want to come along on the next part of your journey whether that’s your next story, activity, or point. Here are three examples of the multiple ways you can “tease them before you tell them” and keep your audience hungry for more.

Click the first audio below.


As you could hear, before I even dove into my story, I teased my audience in a few ways. Because of my set –up, here are some of the questions my audience members might have had for me:

  • What is the greatest leadership principle you ever learned?
  • Which President did you meet?
  • How were you able to share a golf cart with a President?

I even had one audience member once ask me, “What kind of score did you shoot that day?”

The bottom line is my audience is curious and that’s a good thing. It’s good to put more than one piece of curiosity in the tease if you can. Find ways to tease them before you tell them. If you just tell them without teasing them, they won’t value it as much.

Have you ever watched The Flintstones? Remember every now and then Wilma would cook for Fred and Fred would literally see this visible aroma (it looked kind of like smoke) floating out of his house? What would he do? He’d literally follow the stream of smoke (or aroma) until he reached the origin. By then he was extremely excited to eat his Brontosaurus Burger and he valued it more. Think about that when you put out the next piece of content you want your audience to enjoy and digest.


Click the next audio and see another kind of tease you can use


The tease started when I said, “There’s a relationship that a lot of people need to have that they don’t have.” What question does that spark? Hopefully people wonder, “What relationship is that?”

But I don’t stop there. I then use more questions to evoke laughter and give my audience a hint to where I’m going. I’m just trying to find ways to pull them in before I get to the story. Asking questions like the ones I asked about Lancaster can attract my audience with humor.

Hopefully the question they ask about Lancaster is, “Well, what the heck happened to you over there?” The answer is given in the story but the key is they want to go on that journey with me. Why? Because of the tease.

They also know there’s a story behind that statement, “I’m black…but let me tell you how I found this out.” They laugh but they also want to hear the story.


Click the audio below to see one more example

I could have easily gone straight into giving them the tool without teasing them. However, couldn’t you tell from their response that they really wanted it? When I asked, “How would you like a tool you can use to make a deeper connection with your audience than you’ve ever felt before,” you could hear how emphatically they said, “Yes!”

That’s because of the powerful tease. In this case, it’s a tease that takes them into a quick activity. Please realize you can “tease them before you tell them” whether you’re transporting them into your story or activity or even into an explanation. Just remember to tease them before you tell them.



Don’t make the tease too long. If you work on it, you can tease them in a 1-3 short sentences and have your audience hungry to hear the rest. If you tease them for too long, that can really get on your audiences’ nerves. Find the balance but error on the shorter side in order to keep the speech moving along.


Your Turn

What are some ways you tease them before you tell them?







Craig Valentine

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