Big Fat Hairy Hooks

This vlog talks about using significant statements and statistics to create curiosity with your audience when you open your presentation. I call them Big Fat Hairy Hooks.

Using significant statements and statistics to create curiosity

Here’s the summary if you don’t have the opportunity to watch the video.

Statistic and statement big fat hairy hooks

You’ve probably heard me talk about using what we call hooks to open up your presentation. These are techniques, ways of expressing ourselves, that draw the audience in, insight, engagement, and participation, and curiosity.

This blog talks about two particular methods that I call the “big fat hairy” techniques.

They are the

  • big fat hairy statistic and the
  • big fat hairy statement.

Now, as you can imagine, the way that I describe them means that they need to be significant statistics or significant statements, big fat hairy ones, that are meaningful for the audience. Those that allow them to be curious around what you’re going to say.


So thinking about the statistics first of all. I can almost guarantee, and in fact, I do this all the time when I ask people ‘what’s the big statistic in your industry or in your area of expertise?’, most people know that.

They might have to go back and just double check it. And obviously, it’s very important you do that because we don’t want lies out there or things that are made up. But most of us know that there is some statistic, whether it’s a percentage of people or whether it’s an increase in or a decrease in, or whatever it is.

And when you pick a big fat hairy one, so one that’s significant and meaningful, then you can put a lot of energy into delivering that.

And remember, this is the first thing that you’re going to say. So it’s really going to give your talk massive impact as the start.

Statements as big fat hairy hooks

Now, when it comes to big fat hairy statements, there’s a number of things you could do with that. You might make a bold statement that you know that people already agree with, and then you might go on to either discount it or put an argument against it or build on it.

You could, of course, use a big hairy statement that people are not going to agree with,

so they go ‘whoa, what?’ And again, so long as you then go on to either justify your argument or actually knock yourself off your own pedestal as it were, it will have a massive impact.

And of course, it will create huge curiosity, like ‘what are they talking about?’ and they’re leaning in to listen to more.

Give it a try

So when you next start a presentation, see what big fat hairy hooks would give the opening of your talk massive impact.

If you’d like to know more about why we need hooks in presentations, watch my vlog here.

If you have questions about questions, then please get in touch.

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