One of the most common complaints novice public speakers have is that they simply don’t know how to start a speech.
Many times speakers get ideas for how to begin their speeches as they go through the process of researching and organizing ideas.
In this chapter, we will explore why introductions are important and various ways speakers can create memorable introductions.
There may not be any one “best” way to start a speech, but we can provide some helpful guidelines that will make starting a speech much easier.
Overall, a good introduction should serve five functions. The first major purpose of an introduction is to gain your audience’s attention and make them interested in what you have to say.
One of the biggest mistakes that novice speakers make is to assume that people will naturally listen because the speaker is speaking.
The introduction for a speech is generally only 10 to 15 percent of the entire time the speaker will spend speaking.
This means that if your speech is to be five minutes long, your introduction should be no more than forty-five seconds.
In these situations, where a speaker is in front of a very hostile audience, there is little a speaker can do to reestablish that sense of trustworthiness.
These public town-hall meetings became screaming matches between the riled-up audiences and the congressional representatives.