Those, I must confess, are not my words. They come from a participant in a public speaking class I taught last week. As you can imagine, he had everyone’s attention when he went on to tell the rest of his tale.
(The pilot told him the gauge was broken—not exactly comforting words—but the speaker did arrive at his destination safely.)
I tell you his story because it illustrates my topic of how to begin. This is a challenge that often stumps writers, and I regret to say that many opt for the easy out—a summary statement. You know, something bland and Pablum-y like, “It is no surprise that many entrepreneurs don’t have the time or natural inclination to manage their people effectively and efficiently.”
My advice? Begin instead with the single most interesting thing you can think of. Don’t try an easy joke. (Few things start you off as badly as a joke that has no relationship to the actual topic of the article or speech—it will cheapen your work.)