Let’s talk about openers.
Some guys make the mistake of feeling like they need to compile an endless library of openers. But that’s not necessary, because with a few tweaks, you can present older material in brand new ways.
Here’s a short lesson on how changing the root and the delivery can make any one opener versatile enough for any environment, any situation.
We will use the most basic form of the dental floss opener for this lesson:
Hey Guys I have to ask you a quick question. I have to leave soon and get back to my friends. My buddies and I were having an argument and we need to get your opinion. Do you guys floss before or after you brush?
How to use this in different environments:
1. Change the root – The root is the context in which the question is being asked. Therefore, if you alter the root you can make the question, funny or serious. For example if I wanted to use this opener in a coffee shop, or any low octane environment I might say:
Low octane (more serious, more realistic root) – Hey, I have to ask you a quick question, I saw you smiling and you reminded me of something I wanted to find out. My friend is going to school to become a dentist and on one of his exam they asked him: Should you floss before or after you brush? Honestly, I have no idea so I’m asking you before or after?
High octane (Over the top, more comical root) – Guys I have to ask you something. I can’t stay long but this question is serious, it will change all of our lives permanently when you all answer it. I’ve been having this argument with my friends for days and I need you all to be serious when I ask you this life-changing question. Do you guys floss before or after you brush?
2. Change the delivery – Delivery can change the energy and the underlying intent of an opener. Delivery can make a line low or high energy. Delivery can change whether a group believes you to be confident or weak. This is why it is important to practice ONE opener over and over and over again. The more you practice and use it in set the more you’ll get used to saying it. It will become part of you and you will own it.
Here two fun ways to learn how delivery works:
Exercise 1: Stand with a partner and ask just the question part of the opener back and fourth, putting emphasis on different parts of the words. Say this same line back and fourth to each other 50 times, changing the tonality, intonations, and intention behind it each time. If you are alone, try it in a mirror. Use different hand gestures; walk around if you need to, do what ever you want just have fun and play with how many different ways a line can be delivered.
Exercise 2: Choose five of your favorite actors. In front of a mirror or with a friend try to deliver an opener just like your favorite actor might. Note how it makes the opener seem different based on who says it. If Sean Connery asked your opener it would feel and sound much different than if Larry David were to ask it.