If you can understand some ways to start a great speech, it will allow your audience to engage, give you confidence and set the tone for what’s to come. A good speech or presentation starts with a great opening. If you open well then the rest is likely to go well.
If it doesn’t go so well then you’ll be thinking about your mistakes which can affect what’s to come. In this article, I’m going to give you tried and tested ways to open a great speech or presentation.
Top ways to start a great speech
1.Thank the organiser
Thank the organiser for inviting you, mentioning their name. Thank the audience for being there and give them a glimpse of what you hope they’ll get from the experience. This is an easy way to get you started, it’s positive and not stressful at all.
2. Mention a current event
This is a great opportunity to engage with your audience. Think about something relevant which has been in the news or a hot topic within your field. If it’s sad then you may wish to conduct a minute silence. If it’s something positive then it might warrant a round of applause. Whatever you choose, make it engaging.
3. Tell a story
Stories are a very powerful way to connect with your audience. Even more so if it’s something personal to you. People speak with more enthusiasm and passion when telling stories about themselves. But this doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. Any story which they relate to will help your audience to connect. Especially one which captivates them.
4. Use a physical prop
Physical props can be a great way to gain the attention of your audience. It could be something specific to their location. An item you know will spike their interest or something your audience can interact with. Whatever you use, props can add depth to your presentation and help make it more memorable.
5. Tell a joke
Done the right way, humour is a great way to break down barriers between you and your audience. But be careful. It’s important to know your audience and that you’re certain of a positive reaction. A bad joke can do the opposite. Alienating you from your audience and affecting your confidence.
6. Use facts
If you have facts which are backed up by solid research then use them. Even more so if they will be surprising to your audience. This is a great way to make your audience pay attention and look forward to what you have to say.
7. Ask a question
Whether it’s to a single audience member or to the audience as a whole, asking a question can be a great way to engage. Especially if you can pre-empt their answer, knowing your presentation will disprove it, or even question their ideology. You can revisit the question after you have presented your arguments. Then see if you receive the same answers.
8. Be yourself
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are yourself. Your audience will find it much easier to connect if you be yourself. Start as you mean to go on and don’t have the added hassle of keeping up a persona.
Final thoughts on ways to start a great speech
Whether you keep it simple by thanking your host. Get creative with engaging props. Or use facts which will blow your audience member’s minds. The most important thing is to be genuine, be yourself and have fun.
If you would like further guidance then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you.