Did this title spark your interest? That is what a good speech opening does.
There are many ways to start a presentation to any audience. When starting a presentation, you must remember some key factors to gain immediate interest from your audience.
The first is that every good speech should be structured in some way.
The opening is key to get the audience to want to listen to you. It only takes 15 seconds to make a good impression, so you want your opening to be interesting, memorable and establish your credibility as a speaker. Does that sound like a lot to do in 15 seconds?
Hook your Audience
The first step is to grab the audience’s attention with a good “hook”. You may want to start with the following as hook examples:
- Start with an interesting quote that relates to your topic
- Short story or an amusing anecdote
- Use a surprising statistic or graph that captures their interest
Explain why this topic is something important for your audience
Once you can pique their interest you may want to then clearly state your topic. You want to reveal the purpose of your speech using direct and simple language.
Don’t assume that just because you started with a quote or an amusing anecdote that the audience will fully understand and make the connection to their needs. Let them know what is in it for them. Always assume that your audience may need to be convinced about the importance of learning from your topic.
Who are you?
It is also important that once the topic is explained and its importance revealed, that you also describe who you are and your expertise on the subject. You will need to convince the audience that you are a credible source for sharing your wisdom.
Since all speeches are not written texts where the audience can review the index page or the titles for each topic, you must try to forecast by giving a summary of the topics you will be covering in your presentation so that the audience can create a mental list or order to follow.
Keep in mind that your opening should be no more than 10-15% of your total presentation. Try to include all the described as concisely as possible. By including these aspects in your introduction, not only will you make a killer first impression, but you will convince your audience that what you are about to talk about is something they need to pay attention to.