There are actually more benefits of public speaking than you might think. The advantages of public speaking range from increased confidence to meeting others to becoming more marketable.
There are many different ways to start your speech but it’s not just about the words you use. Creating a strong first impression is about more than your opening lines. Here are some of the tips to start a speech.
- Refer A Well Known Person
You can start your speech by defining quotes said by a well-known or famous person. This will help you to get the trust of the audience.
For example –
An Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist Viktor Frankl said that “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
- Ask A Question
Starting off with a question is the simplest way to start your speech in a manner that immediately engages the audience. But we should keep our questions compelling as opposed to something that is fairly obvious.
Many speakers start their speeches with questions like “How many of us want to be successful?” No one is going to say ‘no’ to that and frankly. Raise your hand to indicate what you want people to do, then compliment and affirm the answer: “You’re right!”
Every time you make a strong statement, pose a question to the audience. This gets people immediately involved and listening to your every word.
- Entertain Your Audience With Stories
The key to entertaining an audience is stories. Stories are the most important part of a good presentation. You can tell very short stories, and they can be your stories or someone else’s stories. If it’s your personal story, that’s even better. But if it’s someone else’s story that is just fine.
Start by saying, “I heard a story just the other day.” And then you tell the story. Or, “Let me tell you a story,” or “This is something I heard recently that really moved me.”
Whenever you start to tell a story, the whole audience pays 100% attention.
- Speak Relatable
Tying your message to current or historical events can help you start a speech in an immediately relatable way. This will familiarize the audience with your topic without an extra preamble. Use relevant images and videos in your presentation. Just be mindful when choosing a current event to reference — beyond making sure it’s relevant to your content, you should generally avoid polarizing subjects such as politics.
Starting a speech with a story, personal anecdote, or case study is some of the most effective ways to capture your audience’s attention.
- Start with a strong emotion
Strong emotions, whether positive or negative, can capture the attention of your audience and set up the discussion in an interesting way. Use strong words such as “hate,” “love,” and “worst.” For example, when delivering a speech on teamwork, you could start by saying this: “What I love about emperor penguins is that they know how to take a hit for the team. They show a ferocious, ambitious, and territorial attitude in the worst weather conditions by taking their turn to fight the elements for their team.”
Your goal is to get a reaction from your audience at the start of your speech, which will get them to focus on your message.
- Focus On Your Topic And Body Language
Your audience is giving you their time, so make sure you’re not wasting it with a speech that has no point. Nearly everyone heard a speech and walked away wondering what it was really about. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure you have a point, but avoid having too many points, since too many messages can be problematic as well. Think about who your audience is and why they’re listening to you. What does your audience want?
Your body language plays an important role in entertaining and captivating your audience. Don’t just stand behind the podium or stare at the screen. Show off your passion by commanding the stage and moving around with confident body language. You can even start your speech by walking into the audience. By removing the barrier between you and your listeners, they’ll pay closer attention to what you’re saying. You should make an effort to make eye contact with each of them.
- Grab Audience Attention
A great way to get the attention of your audience is to involve them right away. They’ll feel like they’re part of the presentation, and you’ll also better understand your audience in turn. Another way to involve your audience is to ask for a show of hands. This is a great way to show everyone how their answers compare to their peers.
Q. What makes a speech bad?
A speech can be bad for any number of reasons: It lacks unity and cohesion. It fails to address the needs and concerns of the audience. It is confusing, illogical, or boring.
Most people make mistakes by starting with anything technical. Being nervous is a bad sign for a speaker.