Excellent Tips on How to Open Your Speech

I’m sure you’ve been to a seminar where the speaker got introduced and the first few words that came out of his/her mouth were either:

  • “Thank you for inviting me here to speak…”
  • “I don’t know why I have been asked…”
  • “I haven’t really prepared anything…”
  • “Today I’m going to talk about…”
  • “A funny thing happened on the way…”

These opening phrases are all very boring and bordering on annoying even. Here are some things you can do to spice it up and make your opening speech a lot better. After all, the opening part is supposed to grab the attention of your audience and not send them to the Zzzz zone.

1. Pose a challenging question – Asking your audience a very interesting question immediately engages their minds and compels them to think and answer the question.

2. Deliver a striking statement – When you deliver a  controversial statement, it will definitely grab the attention of your audience, especially those whose minds are starting to drift somewhere else especially when you’re just one of the speakers they went to see that day.

3. Tell a story – I’ve mentioned this a couple of times here on my blog.  When you tell a story, make it personal, something that the audience can relate to, and just jump right into it … avoid saying “I’m going to tell you a story”.

4. Comment on a preceding speaker – Of course before you do this, make sure that you’ve watched the other speakers as well. It becomes more effective if the preceding speaker happens to be an authority figure. Then you could leverage on his/her credibility.

These are just some ways to help you make your opening speech lively and engaging. For more insight, please head to:

Power Presentations Tip 54: How to Open Your Speech

About presenternews
I write about presentation skills and provide news from the presentation skills blogosphere.

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