An event is a gathering or activity that can serve a variety of purposes, from honoring someone in the community, to raising awareness about a cause, to raising funds for the needy. No matter the purpose or the theme, a kick-off speech is customary to begin the event. The person offering the speech should be well spoken and dynamic. The opening speech will set the tone for the event as a whole.
Welcome and History
Make the audience and event guests feel important and valued upfront with a warm welcome and sincere thank you for attending. Whether you are fund raising, raising awareness of a cause or simply trying to share a good time, your event welcome should make the audience feel valued and special. Give a brief history of the event, including how many years running the event is or if this is the premier event. Highlight the people, from sponsors to workers, who made the event possible. Outline the cause, if any, that inspired the event.
Relay to the audience your own personal involvement with the event. This will spark a connection between you and the event guests and help engage the listeners. If the event is for a charitable cause, share with the audience how you became involved with the cause and what it means to you personally. For a more casual, fun event, share why you were chosen to speak about the event. Use comedy and humor as necessary and be honest about whether you were excited about the challenge or if you experience stage fright. Establishing personal connections through your speech will help the speech to have impact on your listeners.
Share with the audience what the end result of this event will be. If the event is charity orientated or a fundraiser, state your goals for the event and what that will mean for the cause. Use specific examples. For example, a fundraiser to send care packages to deployed soldiers could reference a specific soldier who received such a package and what it meant to him. For an entertainment-oriented event, state simply that the evening will provide the guests with hearty laughs, good conversation and many networking opportunities.