First floor

Writing the introduction to a speech

The introduction to your speech serves a number of significant purposes:

  • It represents your chance to get your audience’s attention before clearly stating your topic.
  • It gives you opportunity to explain to your audience why your topic is important while establishing your own credibility as a speaker on this topic.
  • A well-crafted introduction previews your speech’s main ideas for your audience.

Getting your audience's attention

You can get your audience’s attention through any number of devices. You may decide to begin with a particularly provocative question. Or, you might elect to start with an interesting anecdote, a startling statistic, an outline of your topic’s benefit to your audience, or even a dash of humor.

Preparing your audience

After clearly stating your topic in a simple declarative sentence, it’s important for you to illustrate for the audience why they need to know the information you’re presenting.

  • Remember to do your best to consider all possible segments of your audience. If you are able to do this successfully, you’ll not only increase your speech’s appeal, but also the audience’s confidence in you as the speaker.
  • Further support your right to speak with authority on this subject by briefly outlining your experience and training or your research and supporting material.
  • Preview your main ideas; in other words, tell them what you plan to tell them. At this point, you’ll want to echo the keywords that you used when constructing the main points of your speech.

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