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Chapter 15. Start at the Very Beginning,... > Asked and Answered - Pg. 118

Start at the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start 118 Speech of the Devil Never open with a fake smile and a throw-away slick line. Few things turn off an audience as quickly as a phoney-baloney opening. (Not So) Trivial Pursuit An off-shoot of the anecdote is the factette, commonly called a factoid . It's that small bit of trivia that can maintain the audience's attention. USA Today is a great source of factoids. Here are a few that caught my eye recently (but remember, factoids have to suit the audience, purpose, tone, and your individual style). · · · · Lightning strikes the United States 40 million times each year. A lightning bolt has enough power--30 million volts--to light up all of New York City. The average thunderstorm is more powerful than an atomic bomb. Boris Karloff modeled his mummy face and costume in the film The Mummy after Ramses III. Danger, Will Robinson Everyone knows one really good anecdote, question, quotation, or joke stored up for just this oc-