9 Techniques for Speech Introductions

 

1. CONNECT THE SPEAKER TO THE SUBJECT

• Make it clear that you are a good person to be speaking about this subject, thus building credibility.

2. CONNECT THE SPEAKER TO THE AUDIENCE

• Make it clear that you are like the audience in some way, thus building rapport.

3. CONNECT THE AUDIENCE TO THE SUBJECT

• Make it clear that the subject is or should be of interest or usefulness to the audience, thus building relevance.

4. START WITH A QUOTATION

• Find quotations in a dictionary of quotes (such as Bartlett's) or pop-culture sources (songs, movies, etc.).

5. START WITH A STATISTIC

• Don't overload the speech with numbers, especially at the beginning.

6. START WITH AN ANECDOTE

• An anecdote is a short personal story which makes a relevant point.

• Anecdotes may be about yourself, someone you know, someone famous, or a "man in the street."

7. START WITH SOMETHING STARTLING

• Make sure it's relevant to the subject of the speech! ("Sex, drugs and rock & roll" will get the audience's attention, but, if the speech is about checking accounts, they'll feel cheated!)

8. START WITH A "TEASER"

• Pronouns work especially well for this. "They're less than an inch long, they cost less than a penny to manufacture, and they're about to change the way we see our world." This "teases" the audience, gets them asking "What is she talking about?" And if they're asking that question, they'll be listening for the answer!

9. MAKE THE AUDIENCE A PROMISE

• They'll listen to see whether or not you actually deliver on whatever it is you promise them.

• Make sure you do deliver on what you've promised neither more nor less! (Don't promise five types of inappropriate listening behaviors and then deliver only three or more than five!)

 

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