Legal Law

Public speaking: opening your speech to grab the audience’s attention

The opening and closing are the two most important elements of a speech. He must spend most of his time writing and rehearsing these two components.

There are three main objectives for any opening. First of all, you need to capture the attention of the audience. The second objective is to give the audience an idea of ​​what you will be talking about. Finally, the opening also sets the tone of the speech.

Here are some secrets to brainstorming a memorable opening:

1. Some speakers like to start by posting an interesting question for the audience. The reason this type of opening works is that it forces audience members to find an answer. E.g. – “What is the leading cause of death among adolescents?

2. Another tactic to use is an outrageous or defiant statement to get attention. An example might be: “Your grandchildren may never see an elephant because of poachers threatening extinction, all in the name of ivory chores.”

3. You can also try to connect the opening of your speech by connecting something personal to the event. Short personal stories work best.

4. Arouse curiosity in the audience. This is an example of Steve Jobs (Apple founder) during a commencement speech he gave in 2005: “I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then went without an appointment for another 18 months or so before I actually quit.” So why did I quit?” This introduction makes you curious as to “why did he drop out of college?”

5. Quotes are often used for keynote speeches. It is not important that the quote is famous but that the quote used is relevant. I remember one example when a presenter discussing employment arbitration opened with this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats.”

How NOT to open a speech

1. Don’t tell a story or joke that has nothing to do with the topic of the speech.

2. Don’t try to be funny. There are a dozen easier ways to get noticed.

3. Don’t apologize, for example. “I’m not much of a public speaker, but I’ll try anyway…”

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