How to Write an Engaging Introduction

5 Approaches to Piquing Your Readers’ Interest

Imagine you have walked into a networking event; there are doctors, lawyers, business executives, entrepreneurs, work-at-home experts, and dozens of other professionals.

You recall the key to networking is to engage your audience with an exciting speech that sums up what you offer in less than 30 seconds. How do you get the most out of 30 seconds? Catch your audience’s attention with a motivating and memorable introduction. And then, focus on the solutions you can provide your audience (without spouting off a litany of products and services) to build trust.

To readers, articles are a lot like networking events. They rely on article titles to catch their attention, a summary to give them a snapshot, and an introduction to compel them forward.

Compel your readers with these tips!

Before you write your article introduction, consider these three elements:

  • Your article topic
  • Your main idea
  • Your approach

Let’s take a closer look at your approach. Your approach is the method initially used to pique your reader’s interest and it provides an illustrative theme throughout the rest of your article. Try these 5 approaches to writing engaging article introductions:

  1. The Shock-Effect – Provide a relevant lead-in that surprises, shocks, or startles the reader. Ensure the information you provide isn’t exaggerated or entirely untrue or this approach will ruthlessly damage your credibility. Shock-effect styles include controversy, arguments, statistics, facts, or confessions.
     
  2. The Query – Posing a relevant question draws the reader into your article and builds a connection: Will you reaffirm or contradict their response? Will you provide a solution? Will you provide a new view? Be direct by avoiding phrases like “do you” or “have you” to avoid sounding like a late-night infomercial.
     
  3. The Anecdote – Storytelling can be an incredible point of entry for readers. Provide a quick, but descriptive, personal narrative that focuses on a response to an event and allows the reader to be in your shoes. If you have a gift for humor, exercise your joviality in your introduction. Avoid posturing – tell a story, don’t sell a story.
     
  4. The Quotation – Properly incorporated into an introduction, a relevant and quick quotation can work magic. It allows the reader to connect with your article with a memorable, emotional response – anger, frustration, compassion, agreement, and even love. For instance: “‘Every day, I sit at my computer and stare at my computer screen,’ a client lamented the other day. ‘I just can’t write!’ My client does not struggle alone. Dozens of authors around the world…”
     
  5. Role-play – Provide your readers with an attitude or action. Illustrate a scenario using descriptive and detailed language with which the reader can either relate to the situation or see it from another perspective. Play into your reader’s concerns or needs as well as hone-in on solutions to compel them forward.

Finally, consider these introductory special notes:

  • Be Compelling – Your introduction should be welcoming to the reader and move them along. Avoid exhausting the reader’s attention with excessive exposition. Provide your relevant attention grabber, your topic, and your main idea.
     
  • Maintain Focus – Maintain your focus on the reader and your topic by steering clear of language that draws attention to your opinion and your bias. Allow your article to be your ambassador by writing for your audience and your niche.
     
  • Circumvent Ego – Avoid egocentric or pretentious statements like “The other day, a client came into my office seeking my advice…” or “In my humble opinion.” Readers are more interested in the story of the client, not posturing. The focus should always be on the reader and on the topic.

Begin building your reader’s trust by piquing their interest with a stellar introduction. Try any of these 5 approaches in your next set of articles to engage your audience and motivate them to read your articles today!

15 Comments »


1
Sonia Poehlein writes:

Great lesson on engaging the reader! Strange, how many things we know, but reading or hearing it from a new source makes it all clear again!

Comment provided July 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

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2
Randall Magwood writes:

I like to lead the first sentence of my article with a question… just to entice them a bit to reading the next sentence, and etc.

When I meet people and when they ask me what I do for a living, I say “I show small business owners how to market their website on the internet.” Then I hand them my business card.

This answer takes about 10 seconds for me to pitch what I do for a living. Great blog post.

Comment provided July 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

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3
Joseph Dabon writes:

Neat and simple yet so often disregarded by a lot of writers.

Comment provided July 17, 2012 at 7:54 PM

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4
hulian terrell writes:

it was good info , i will use what i have learned when i write my article

Comment provided July 17, 2012 at 9:05 PM

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5
Green writes:

Great tips. I know most of the facts already, but thanks Ezine for clarifying these points.

Comment provided July 17, 2012 at 10:11 PM

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6
John writes:

Nice post, actually all the 5 points are worthy and if someone who will follow these, will definitely get the best out of it.
Cheers!
John.

Comment provided July 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM

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7
Tony writes:

Being a newbie to ezine writing and blogging, this info is really great to read and chew over before planning my first article.

Thanks. I will certainly work to incorporate one of these approaches.

Comment provided July 18, 2012 at 8:25 AM

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8

this article is so helpful, especially for a newbie like me.

Comment provided July 19, 2012 at 9:16 AM

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9
josephsfng writes:

Good tip! Keep it up. Nice to receive more of these email.
Love:
Bro. Joe

Comment provided July 26, 2012 at 4:24 AM

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10
Frank S. Adamo writes:

Great points. The only thing missing are actual examples, e.g.

For the Shock Effect: “‘Arrrrrggghh! My computer just crashed.’ Hi, I’m Frank AdamoI provide security for those who need it before it’s too late.”

For the query and quotation combined: “‘Hello, I just read an ezine article called ‘Prepare for the Unexpected.’ Are you ready for the unexpected computer crash? Hello, I am Frank…”

Comment provided July 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM

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11
patricia gaines writes:

Thank you for this valuable information. I feel so very blessed to have my articles published, but even more blessed to have the education you provide.

Comment provided August 23, 2012 at 10:34 AM

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12

Engaging Introduction is very important.

Comment provided October 22, 2012 at 9:26 PM

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13
Ashwani Gaat writes:

thank you for giving yes good education regarding how to write articles……

Comment provided April 19, 2013 at 3:51 PM

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Hi Ashwani,

Welcome to EzineArticles! I see you have recently created an account. We wish you success in your article writing endeavors.

~Vanessa

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Ashwani Gaat writes:

Thank you so much

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