I have just had three wonderful weeks in India. I made some speeches. I listened to a lot of speeches.
I was asked: “What is the best way to start a speech?”
We all know the bad ways. For example, someone just reads from their powerpoint. Or someone is checking the microphone.
But from Conor Neill from Ireland I have long applied these three ways to start a speech:
Ask a QUESTION
My recent topic has been How to Communicate and Survive during Industrial Revolution 4.0. So some times I start with “How will you keep your job when robots take over?” The question should be about a problem your audience faces.
State a FACT
Find some amazing fact that leads to your topic. One of Conor’s favourites is “There are more people alive today than have ever died”. If the fact shocks, even better. With my topic I use “over 65% of the kids in school right now will find jobs that have not even yet been invented.”
Begin a STORY
“I was in India recently and I met a person who said something which changed how I think about communication and leadership”. The audience is keen to hear what that “something” was. It should connect to your topic.
So, that’s the beginning.
Then, I suggest you have a long pause every 5 minutes or so (shorter if you like) and use another beginning and bring the audience along again using one of these three starters.
Good luck! (equals good preparation).