How can we write an attention-grabbing opening line so that we can hook our listener with our first line?
September 01, 2022 | 0 | Transcript of Episode 041
How can we write an attention-grabbing opening line so that we can hook our listener with our first line?Listen to the Episode
Transcript of Episode 041
[00:00:00] Hi, this is Melanie from Stories in Songs - Writing the Lyrics.
Welcome to part 3 of our mini-series of Attention-Grabbing Opening Lines.
Today, I’m gonna throw a lot of questions at you.
Well, stick around and you’re about to find out.
[00:00:53] “Tell me, do you know …?”
“Hey, I asked you a question! It’s rude if you don’t answer me!”
And that’s exactly why throwing a question at your audience is another powerful way to get someone’s attention. It’s in the humans’ nature, as the Germans say, dass wir unseren Senf dazugeben wollen (literally: add our mustard to something, meaning: put in one’s two cents).
We love to show off with the answer and give our opinion.
So just exploit that natural way of how people behave and ask your audience a question.
And the great thing is: we all know it’s impolite not to answer when someone asks us a question. So what a nice little cheeky way to wiggle our way into the consciousness of our listeners, pull their attention to our question, and let them find an answer to our Intriguing Question while we elaborate on what’s going on.
After all, even if people want to help out and put in their two cents, they don’t want to look bad or stupid by giving the wrong answer. So if they are unsure of what’s the right or wrong answer, they will keep listening to better understand the context of what’s going on.
And that’s your chance – now that you have hooked them – to keep them engaged (through the power of storytelling in your lyrics!) and provide a meaningful takeaway – that is, surprisingly, the answer to the question you asked them.
You don’t have to state it explicitly, but you will either let them come up with the answer that feels right to them or – what they take away from the song – is a nagging feeling that they should really think about what you said and reflect it on their own life.
Two amazing ways to impact their lives and give them a nudge to rethink a certain part/situation in their lives.
So when using the Intriguing Question as an attention-grabbing opening line technique, start your lyrics by asking your audience a question. It’s in our nature to want to put in our two cents.
[00:03:37] And here are some more ways how you can ask an Intriguing Question in your lyrics beginning.
Watch out: In order to make your question truly intriguing, you should combine it with one of the other powerful ways to grab your audience’s attention. After all, a question that promises something more, is WHY we are inclined to hear more about WHY that question was asked.
[00:07:13] Here are some more song examples that start with an Intriguing Question.
[00:09:49] Now, as we have gone through some possible ways of attention-grabbing opening line techniques in this mini-series, we have discovered the beginning of a lyric is designed to grab the audience's attention and make them interested in what we have to say.
We have to make them curious and so involved in the song's character's situation that they want to keep listening until the song's end to find out how that one thing (with which we hooked them) is resolved.
So we have to start strong. The song's beginning does not only have to hook our audience and pull them into our song's character's situation.
We also have to make it clear to our audience what kind of story they are being told or what kind of universal human need our character's situation belongs to.
Therefore, the hook at the beginning lets the listener know what kind of story they will experience in the song. Engaging a listener means involving them emotionally in the narrative that will follow. They must be interested in the main character and the adventure they are about to embark on. And the audience must be curious about whether the main character will get what they want or need.
As a reminder, the beginning of a lyric narrative should, therefore:
And by starting with an Intriguing Question, you immediately place that question in your audience’s mind.
You can do that by…
Now, lastly, if you’re enjoying this mini-series of attention-grabbing opening lines, I have a favor to ask. If you like the show, it’s safe to assume there are others out there like you who would also enjoy the show. Help them find it. So please rate and review the show on your favorite podcasting platform. Those people will appreciate it.
P.S. There are six more powerful ways of attention-grabbing opening lines left. If you help me reach 20 reviews, I’ll share with you two more attention-grabbing opening line techniques.
Thank you so much for your support.
Now if you have a minute, please rate and review the podcast on your podcast app now.
I appreciate this!
© Stories in Songs, Melanie Naumann
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