Journalists agonize over the single sentence that makes their article worth reading, and goes at the beginning. Putting children through the Brown Eyes Blue Eyes experiment taught them tolerance for the rest of their lives.
Strangers will steal your kidneys!
In their book Made to Stick, authors Chip and Dan Heath note the Six Parts of a Sticky idea. Using the Clever acronym SUCCESs, the Brothers Heath have laid out what makes an idea persist and survive, even in our world of billions of ideas.
Three of their main concepts are embodied in the Teaser; The blurb at the beginning of a story, a paper or a presentation which draws the reader in and gives them something to hold on to.
These three key concepts are Simplicity, Concreteness, and the Unexpected. The job of a teaser is to give the reader something simple and concrete to hold on to during the entire presentation, and something unexpected to pique the interest.
By making sure your teaser has a simple lesson that strikes to the heart of your topic, is concrete enough for any audience to understand, and unexpected enough to draw in even the most jaded American, you guarantee that they'll not only get the idea, but give you the benefit of the doubt and read on.