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Examples of Effective Speech Introductions

Published by Karla Davisio — one year ago

Blog: Speech Introductions
Tags: Erasmus scholarships

Most people understand the basics of writing and delivering speeches, as they have heard speeches live, on television, or radio countless times. Good orators give their speeches so that it seems effortless, so when it comes time for you to write a speech of your own, the very prospect seems daunting. How well you write and practice your presentation speech can make it easier when it comes time for you to deliver it. One of the most difficult aspects of writing and delivering any speech is the introduction, which can immediately captivate your audience's attention. There are many effective strategies to help you write an introduction that is meaningful, and help captivate your audience. These strategies will not only give you the necessary momentum at the beginning of your speech, but they will also make writing the speech that much easier.

The Anecdote

One of the easiest ways to begin your speech, interestingly, is to not begin it at all. Audiences love a good story, and starting your speech with an anecdote that at first does not seem relevant is a great way to establish intimacy between you and your audience and also capture their attention. Your listeners will be so engrossed wanting to know what happened next that they will not even realize that you have started your speech. Anecdotes can revolve around personal stories or stories that you have heard. If, for instance, you are giving a speech on parenting, giving a personal anecdote about a time you employed a comical parenting skill will capture your audience's attention.

Set Up a Problem

Audiences want to hear speeches sometimes to be uplifted or to get information, but overall, they listen to speeches because on some level, speeches offer certain solutions. For instance, speeches can be about technical solutions to certain problems in the office, or they can be a speech about being happier. Either way, the audience expects a result at the end. Thus, to make your audience want to listen to your speech, one great strategy for starting your talk is by setting up a problem. If, for instance, you are giving a speech about productivity in the workplace, set up a problem scenario that everyone will be familiar with: procrastination, meetings, or too many phone calls. If the problems that you present are relevant to your audience, the speech will peak their attention and you will then be able to set up an argument and potential solution.

Self Introduction

One of the best ways to begin a speech is simply by introducing yourself. A self-introduction does not necessarily have to be boring, but you can use it as a time not just to state your name, but to state relevant things about yourself with which the audience can connect. If you are giving a speech to college graduates, then introduce yourself and tell them what it was like to sit in the very chair they were sitting in. Introducing yourself at the beginning of a speech will give the audience time to get to know you.

Rhetorical Questions

Another great strategy for beginning a speech is by posing a rhetorical question to your audience. For instance, if you are giving a motivational speech you can begin with something along the lines of, "Isn't it time that you began to thrive in your career?" or, "Did you wake up this morning feeling the need for a great change?" An alternative to asking a rhetorical question is by engaging your audience; do not simply pose a rhetorical question, but get the audience to raise their hands. These interactive exercises will get the audience's attention and sustain it for a long time.

Using a Relevant Joke as an Ice-Breaker

The last great method to begin a speech is simply by making a relevant joke. Getting the audience to laugh will help your speech begin on a good note. If the joke is relevant, then the audience will be more likely to have fun with the material you are presenting. In fact, telling a joke that makes the audience laugh will give you more confidence and make you more relaxed.

Although writing seems like a monumental task, it does not have to be. Good speech writing is all about crafting the right things to say in order to make sure that your audience is engaged. Remember that it is important to talk with your audience and not to them. The beginning of your speech is a crucial time when the audience is getting to know you and your subject. Using catchy introductions like anecdotes, jokes, questions, or even a personal introduction will signal to your audience that you are engaged with them and paying attention to them. Using these tips during a speech will make your speech more lively and your audience more willing to relax and listen.


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