How to Open a Speech and Grab Attention From the Beginning

The opening is one of the most important parts of any speech and its organization. You can think of it as the trailer of a film. If it’s great, people go and watch the movie. The opening of the speech should be able to make your audience curious so that they stick around for the whole duration. The length should be around 15 to 20 percent of the entire speech. At the beginning, you should be able to make the audience members (a) curious as to what is coming next, (b) involved in your speech to crave for more and (c) engaged enough to be hooked on.

Rock Your Speech

Different Ideas and Examples to Open a Speech

  1. Begin with a question. That’s how you involve and draw them into your speech by allowing your audience to think about what you have to say.

    Do you know the meaning of ‘X’?

  2. Express a challenging statement or a fact. Make people think that you have done your job. Example:

    Did you know “Facebook Addiction Disorder” is a mental disorder identified by Psychologists?

  3. Poetry. It is bound to catch attention. Who doesn’t love something that’s artistic?

    The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
    But I have promises to keep.
    Miles to go before I sleep.

  4. Share something funny, a joke perhaps. Make them laugh. Tell them something that is funny.

    You’re unique. Just like everyone else.

  5. Self-deprecating humor. Much like a joke but this is where you are making fun of yourself. It lessens the distance between the audience and you and creates that connection.

    People are surprised when I tell them I have a 4.0 GPA while working & maintaining an active social life, but anything is possible when you lie.

  6. Anecdote. Share a short amusing, interesting and personal story that is real. They can brighten the day for people, and inspire/persuade them on various grounds.

    The Jewels Story
    Once there was a very rich and greedy man. He loved and hoarded jewels. One day a visitor asked to see them. So, the jewels were brought out, amid much expensive security, and the two men gazed at the wonderful stones.
    As the visitor was leaving he said, “Thank you for sharing your jewels with me.”
    “I didn’t give them to you,” exclaimed the rich man, “They belong to me.”
    “Yes of course,” replied the visitor, “And while we enjoyed the jewels just the same, the real difference between us is your trouble and expense of buying and protecting them.”

  7. Visual Images and Props. Show them an interesting image or an object that you can carry around. It’s a great way to draw their attention.
    Interesting Image
  8. Physically get your audience members to do something. What could be more engaging that this?

    Everyone close your eyes and think of your favorite childhood memory…

We hope that you find these examples and ideas helpful while starting out your speech. Remember to avoid (a) apologizing, (b) introducing the introduction and (c) making them wait. These are weak openings and if you do something like these, you will be perceived as boring.

So, get creative, think out of the box and do something that people will actually love. Go out with a bang and open your speech.

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