Thank you for that kind introduction...
That was really nice of you to ask me here today...
I also wanted to thank so-and-so and her staff and their staff and the secretary's dog's cousin's uncle...
And of course this boring start to the most boring speech in the known universe wouldn't be complete if I didn't thank YOU for coming here today dearest audience...
This is the way it goes for most speakers. Niceties and how-do-you-do's and blah blah and yadda yaddas. Awful. Boring. Predictable. You're opening just like every other speaker the audience has ever heard. And because you sound just like everyone else, you must of course be saying exactly what everyone else is saying, therefore it's perfectly acceptable if I tune out and take a mental nap, seeing as I've heard this same rhetoric time and time again.
Starting a speech: First words count
Don't start with words like these...
This is your moment to shine, so shine from the get-go. To start your speech with power, find something unique, engaging and memorable to say. And make sure it's a line that you're 100% comfortable with, so your talk flies rather than sags from the beginning.
Here are some ideas from some of my favourite speech beginnings:
You might start your speech with a provocative question -
An amazing or shocking fact -
A joke -
by evoking an image -
All of these speech beginnings get the audience connected and ready to listen. And a great opening line allows you to settle into your speech so that you can shine.
Read more about juicy speech opening lines here.
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