6 Ways to Start a Speech (That Aren’t “Good Morning”)

We’ve all been at a speech with this typical beginning:

“Hello; good morning!”

“How’s everyone doing today?”

“Hi, everyone, thanks for coming!” 

Did you know that people decide whether they like you or not in the first seven seconds? With that in mind, think of an opening that can really pack a punch, like the following 6 ways to start your speech:

  1. Tell a personal story.

A personal story about your topic will grab the audience’s attention. People will relate to an honest story about why you’re there instead of an announcement about what you’re going to discuss.

  1. Share a shocking statistic.

Sharing a statistic that your audience most likely doesn’t know can get them interested in your speech. Of course, make sure your speech surrounds how to solve this problem or delves into the reason behind the statistic.

  1. Ask a question.

There are many ways to use this technique. You could ask a rhetorical question that gets your audience thinking. Or, pose a question, then ask the audience members to raise their hands if it applies to them. And you might simply ask a question that you’ll inevitably answer during your speech.

  1. Quote a powerful person.

If you can find a quote from a well-known person who knows your topic, use it to your advantage. Start by quoting him or her, and then detail how this quote relates to your overall speech.

  1. Tell the audience to imagine.

Start your presentation by suggesting that your audience imagine a scenario that relates to your topic. For example, “Imagine you knew you were going to die in a year: What things would you want to do before then?” This scenario can help get your audience in the right mindset for your speech.

  1. Refer to a historical event.

This event could be in the 1800s or could have occurred last year. For example, if your speech is on success, you could talk about a company or person who didn’t think they were going to succeed but ended up being extremely successful.ge

There are many more ways you could start a speech, so get creative! Grabbing your audience’s attention is only the first step to forging a connection with them. Learn more about giving a powerful speech on our blog, or sign up for our next Leadership Presentation and Image program.