35: How to Instantly Capture An
Audience’s Attention.

The HOOK uses a simple finger movement on an individual word. This hook-like ‘S’ movement slows down the focus word, adds clarity and musicality to that word to attract listener attention. An attention grabbing Hook is typically used at the beginning of a talk or speech to quickly switch focus to a new discussion topic, business, product, or person. As a clarifier, the Hook word emphasis movement provides an auditory twist to important Who, When and Where words in the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.

Watch, read, or listen to this Real Talking Tips Episode 35 podcast for the 9th of 11 Real Talking Tips Word Emphasis lessons. Each element of the Word Emphasis Chart introduced in Episode 27 adds variety and attitude to words and phrases! The last eight Real Talking Tips episodes, we added a
• dot , Arrow Up arrow it up icon and Caret Up up caret icon, Arrow Down arrow down2, Caret Down caret it down2, Wiggle wiggle, and Word Stretch stretch out a word, Parenthetical ( ), Dip-Down dip, and the 3-part sentencen Wave wave.

Practice along with this Real Talking Tips vidcast, podcast, and blog, my Elaine Clark app, Adding Melody To Your Voice, and my best selling books, There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs for Podcasting. For an effective 5-minute warm-up before speaking, use the Elaine Clark Activate Your Voice app!

Click the video to watch or select the audio podcast by clicking start or selecting the audio player in the icon below.


Here we are at Real Talking Tips Episode 35. Hook the Listener In is the 9th of 11 Word Emphasis lessons. Hi, I’m actor, author, voice-over artist, podcaster, presenter, entrepreneur, and speech communication coach, Elaine Clark.

In Real Talking Tips Episode 34, we added a musical wave to the voice to separate the three parts of the sentence: Noun – Verb – Subject of the Noun. In this episode, we’re going to narrow the focus of the speech sentence ‘wave’…to only ONE Word. This style of Word Emphasis is used to grab the attention of the audience and bring them on-board with you as you switch to the current ‘now’ moment.

The HOOK is an essential addition to effective language and speech communication.

In Real Talking Tips episodes 27 – 34, we worked on 10 gestures and how they impact speech. These include the: • Dot , Arrow Up arrow it up icon and Caret Up up caret icon, Arrow Down arrow down2, Caret Down caret it down2, Wiggle wiggle, and Word Stretch stretch out a word, and Parenthetical ( ), Dip-Down dip, and the 3-Part Sentence Wave wave.

I can’t stress the importance of these Word Emphasis speaking techniques. That’s why I added it to the Real Talking Tips podcast and included the Word Emphasis Chart in Episode 27, in my Adding Melody to Your Voice app, and my books There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is and Voice-Overs For Podcasting.

Hook = hook the listener in by using high, low, medium or low, high, medium musical notes

The musical speech ‘hook’ takes one Word and uses high-low-medium or low-high-medium musical notes to one Word so it uniquely stands out and draws the audience’s focus to you, the speaker, and what you have to say!

Add a Hook to Reel in an audience
Word Emphasis #9: The Hook Clarifies Information and Refocuses Audience Attention.

In Real Talking Tips Episode 34, we practiced different ways to add a horizontal musical speaking WAVE above and below the three main parts of the sentence: Subject, Noun, and Connecting Statement. We also discussed how to use that 3-part musical shift in the sentence to separate WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW information.

The HOOK uses a simple vertical finger movement to focus attention on a single word. The hook-like movement of the finger slows down the focus word, adds clarity, and attracts listener attention.

Let’s review the WHO, WHEN and WHERE Hook now.

WHO – The WHO Hook is used on either a single noun, or the person’s first name, or their last name. Let’s review this simple sentence: ‘That’s a person.’ There are two potential ‘WHO’ hook placements:

1. On the word ‘that.’

2. On the word ‘person.’

The choice for the hook technique is dependent on the speaker’s goal. Is it to focus attention or is it to clarify?

  • An attention grabbing Hook is usually at the beginning of a speech or quickly switch focus to a new topic, person, business, or product. It’s a way of acknowledging through movement and attitude what happened a moment ago. Example: That’s a person.
  • A clarifying Hook on the same opening word ‘That’ in the previous example, is simpler and often spoken with less carry-over attitude from the previous moment. Example: That’s a person.
  • Let’s shift focus now to the noun at the end of that same sentence, where the focus is now on the word ‘person.’ Example: That’s a person.
  • There are three places a WHO hook speech movement can be used on this sentence: ‘I’m Elaine Clark.’: I’m Elaine Clark. I’m Elaine Clark. I’m Elaine Clark.

WHEN – Time and Dates are excellent places to add a musical speech HOOK. In this sentence the hook word focus is on the time of day: The meeting is at 3pm.

WHERE – Locations are always important to remember so we don’t go to the wrong place. The Where Hook adds specificity to a theatre, restaurant, arena, school, home, city, state, or country location.

Hook Placement


It’s your time now to get your hook finger ready to move. You can use your right or left hand, move the finger in an ‘S’ shape, or in a backward ‘S’ movement. It’s important to follow the curve of the S at the top and bottom to give it that ‘hook’ sound.

The following are 4 speech examples with different purposes and placements within the sentence. When you practice this simple finger-hook movement, remember that movement should naturally slow down the speed of that word and change the tempo of the sentence. So trust your body to do the work and stay out of your head. You need to practice these movements to build muscle memory and trust.











Practice these sentences and others where you need to shift focus to something new or draw focus to a specific clarifying word!

Join me next time in Real Talking Tips Episode 36 as we take it Up, Down and Split the Difference. And if you feel so inclined, please download, subscribe, share, rate or add a comment to this Real Talking Tips podcast. I absolutely love it when you share successes you’ve had with booking jobs and winning clients when you started using these techniques.


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