I was sent a QUORA question to answer. It was about how to start a speech strong. Here are a few ideas:
Start with something than gives your audience a reason to listen to you. While most audiences are willing to listen, it is unwise to take them or their attention for granted.
Some commonly practiced “do-nots”:
- Tell them all about yourself. Your audience are the point, not you.
- Say bland things like “hello…nice to be here…” Boring!
- Talk about irrelevant things like the weather, the price of fish etc. Keep the focus on the topic.
Some suggestions for good openers:
- A short anecdote which connects with the theme of your talk and a need in your audience
- “I stayed up all night typing on a portable typewriter …. degree almost lost…..”
- Acts 17.22ff
- A question – if you want interaction and can expect participation
- “Do you like having a clear conscience?
- “What are the signs you have a guilty conscience?”
- Lk 13.2
- Act 3.12 – “Why does this surprise you?”
- A statement which gets attention. Not too controversial (that will get some listeners on the wrong side of you), but thought-provoking and, again, connected to a need amongst your hearers.
- There are more active phone connections in the world than there are people – 7.7 billion
- Kim Kardashian has been significantly influential in helping Americans understand statistics
- 69 lawnmower deaths
- 2 Islamic Jihadi Immigrants
- 21 deaths by armed toddlers
- 11, 737 killed by another American
- Acts 23.6ff
- Luke 14.26
See my Tuesday Teaching Tips: “When does a speech begin?” – 14 Oct 2016
Enjoy your opportunity to speak – it’s always a privilege.
Leave a comment …. Pass it on ……
Have a terrific Tuesday & wonderful week.
God bless, Malcolm