The opening of your speech is like the first line of a novel. It's important to grab your audience's interest and hold onto it. In many ways your delivery is as important as what you say.
Start with a powerful body stance. Stand straight and tall with your back straight and your shoulders squared. Know your beginning lines so you can look out at your audience rather than down at the podium.
Speak your first sentence loud and clear. The person in the last row should not have to strain to hear what you are saying. Use vocal variety to increase and decrease the volume of your voice but never shout and never whisper. Make eye contact with audience members as you speak.
Use pauses between sentences. This is not "ahs" or "uhms". Silent pauses allow your audience to think about what you just said. Pauses are very effective in public speaking.
Open with a statement that is inspiring, motivating or encouraging and get right to the point of your speech. Your statement should grab your audience and say Wow! Do not open with a joke. Do not open with a sad story. Powerful speech openings have powerful messages.
Tips & Warnings
- Practice makes perfect. Videotape yourself and see how you appear. Ask family and friends to watch you.
- Watch other speakers. Technology makes it easy to watch others online.
- Don't apologize for nervousness. You will call attention to something others may not even notice.
- Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
How to Write Opening & Closing Remarks of a Speech
When writing a speech the introduction and the ending are just as important as the body of your speech. The first 30...
How to Make a Welcoming Opening Speech for Veterans
Our men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend our freedoms. Giving veterans a warm welcome upon their return from...
How to Start a Presidential Speech
A presidential speech is written and given by the president of a particular body of people. Writing a presidential speech can take...
How to Start a Campaign Speech
A campaign speech must convey an overall message to the intended audience. It must appeal to the emotions and feelings of the...
How to Make an Opening Statement in a Debate
Lawyers need to make strong, compelling opening statements every day. ... In a debate, both sides write constructive speeches that cover the...
How to Give a Speech
You May Also Like. How to Give a Powerful Speech. The good speeches are remembered long after the speech has been delivered....
How to Write a Personal Perspective Paper
These papers give students an opportunity to voice opinions and feelings about ... or they may be more open-ended, ... Informative &...
Ideas for Speech Openers
Giving an effective speech means knowing who your audience is and what it wants to gain from your presentation. The opening of...