The use of this simple formula is the difference between good speeches and very ordinary ones. It can be applied to most types of speeches particularly those of an informative nature. As the informative speech is the most common type of speech delivered today, you will readily agree that the Borden formula is important to know and follow.
Ho Hum! : In this phase of the formula, you must arouse the audience interest in what you have to say - you must awaken them! In your opening remarks ask a question, tell a story, startle your audience, Use an exhibit. Don't think for one minute that the audience is sitting on the edge of their chairs waiting eagerly for you to speak. They are asleep! Ho Hum, they say -" I wonder what this fellow is going to talk about." So in your first sentence you must arouse them from their Ho Hum! Attitude.
Why bring that up : In this you must build a bridge - your listener lives on an island, an island of his own interests - you must build a bridge from yourself to that island. The listener says to himself.
• You caught my attention with your intriguing opening.
• But why - bring this subject up?
• What has it got to do with me?
Here is how a tax expert caught the attention of his audience.
You are probably wondering why you should be worried about VAT. There are a vast number of traders who do not show their true accounts to the government. Under VAT this practice will become virtually non existent. So how are you, an honest tax payer affected? Let us say, at some stage, between the manufacturers, the C&F agent, distributor, super stockist and you, someone did not pay tax or did not reveal this transaction. Under VAT it would be possible to trace the exact source and the penalties when found could be crippling. There could be repercussions in the entire chain.
Thus you must build a bridge to your listeners. Until this bridge is built, you are not ready to begin the body of your speech.
For instance : In this third phase of the formula, get down to cases. Ever since childhood, grandmothers have found that the best way of driving home a point is by way of stories. Let us assume that you have introduced your speech subject interestingly, arresting all Ho Hums with your first sentence - that you convinced your listeners that the subject hits their interest. Now, get down to cases. Make your points with the help of real life or even local examples.
So What? In this concluding section of your speech, demand action from the audience. The end of the speech like the lead of a pencil should have a point. The conclusion must be more than a forceful leave taking. It must answer the audience's question, SO WHAT? Therefore, in your conclusion, ask the audience for some specific action for e.g.