Your speech intro is one of the most critical parts of your presentation.

During these essential few minutes, you want to do three things:

– Grab Attention

– Preview the speech

– Share compelling reasons why the audience should listen to you.

Over the next couple days, we'll be tackle each one of these.

Good Speech Intro Tip #19: Grab their attention with a question, a story, or a startling statement.

Any one of these will get the audience involved and ready to pay attention.

Starting with a Question

Do you remember a time when your were very discouraged or disappointed?

Would this question grab the audience's attention? Definitely, I've used it several times with great success. Three points to remember when asking questions.

First, ask it to one person. Look at one person and ask the question. Second, phrase the question so it is "you" focused. Third, pause after the question to let people reflect on it. One of the World Champions of Public Speaking said, "If they reflect, you will connect."

Starting your speech with a Story

Two years ago, I was…

Stories are an excellent way to grab attention. Just jump right in. No need for clutter phrases like "Here is something interesting that happened to me" or "Now, I will tell you a story." Dive into the story and let the story grab the audience's attention.

Starting with Startling Statement

Last year 11,773 People were killed by drunk drivers. That's like two 747 Jumbo Jets crashing every month.

Did this grab your attention? Think of true, but startling statements to open your speech.


Take some extra time to create a good speech intro with this speaking tip.


Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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