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Public Speaking Tips - Opening Your Speech

Jun 6, 2008
"10 seconds is all you have to get the audience's attention. If you haven't got them by then it is much harder to get their attention back."

That's how I have started a speech on how to write speeches. If you want your audience to listen to you more intently get their attention at the beginning.

"What is the best thing I can say at the beginning to make the audience listen to me?" is good question to ask yourself if you want to have a grate opening in your speech.

A good speech opening may include these 3 elements:

1) Topic introduction - In the same way a book has a contents so can your speech. Here you tell the audience what you are going to tell them. This gives your speech structure and grabs the audience's attention.

2) A startling question - "What would you say if I told you how to make $100,000 in 90 days?" A question like this will grab your audience's attention right away. They will ask the questions to themselves and then want to hear your answer.

3) An historical quote - "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" - John F Kennedy. If you grab the audiences emotions you can grab their attention. When the audience hears something that once made them feel emotional hearing it again will be bring them back to that emotion.

Think of a speech opening like the headline of a newspaper article. If they don't like the headline they wont read the article. If the don't like your speech's opening they will not listen to the rest of your speech, whether they are in the room or not.
About the Author
If you would like to see additional tips on great public speaking techniques with video lessons go to Teach Your Kids Public Speaking
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