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It is important for speakers to make the first words in their speeches or presentations have a great impact on their audience. How can you make it count? Will you say thank you to the organizers who invited you or thank somebody else? Being grateful is important, however, this has no place in a well-written speech or presentation. Avoid spending the few seconds of your speech giving thank you’s or any compliments to the audience. Instead, give an opening word or statement that would surely grab your listener’s attention and keep them intrigued.
There are many historical speeches that have stood the tests of time and their words still echo in today’s society. How about the speech of President Abraham Lincoln during the 19th of November, 1863? Consider also the speech of President Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor when Hawaii was attacked or the speech of Pres. Ronald Reagan on January 1986. What they did was to start their speech with a simple sentence of impact allowing the listeners to think. They motivated their listeners to not only take heed but also inspire them to action.
Your opening statement must be related to the topic of your speech or presentation. There are many ways to achieve this. Opening your speech with some startling statement or some statistic that supports your point can truly motivate your audience to listen. You can also try delivering your speech with an opening that provokes question or one that can stimulate a discussion.
Avoid wasting words in your speech or presentation as this can make your speech too lengthy and bore your listeners. Instead, use powerful statements as your opening words to capture the attention of your audience from start to end. Be mindful about the manner on how you want to convey your message. Ultimately, apart from getting them to listen, your goal in delivering an effective speech or presentation is to get them to think.