Starting A Speech Off On The Right Foot

How you start a speech determines how it will end…
How you start a speech determines how it will end…
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When it comes time to give a speech, since we are aware of the importance of public speaking we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about how we want things to end up. It turns out that although this is important, perhaps what we really should be doing is spending more time worrying about how our next speech starts off.

Is That Really You?

One of the ways that we public speakers go about becoming better is that we take the time to observe how other speakers speak. We might do this by watching a Tony Robbins video or perhaps by watching a political debate. However, although this approach is very valuable, it also carries with it an element of danger.

All too often when we’ve intently studied how another speaker delivers a speech, what can happen is that we can end up trying to mimic how they give a speech. I for one would love to be able to give a speech using the same style that Tony Robbins does – but I’m most defiantly not him! Your audience is sharp. They are going to pick up on the fact that you are not being you. What you need to do when you are starting your next speech is to be yourself – be genuine and be real.

Are You Interested Or Interesting?

Hey look at me, I’m an interesting speaker! As speakers we’ve been taught that we need to very quickly capture our audience’s attention when we are starting a speech. Most of the time the way that we try to go about doing this is by saying things that we believe will make us interesting to our audience.

The problem with this is that you are now making your next speech all about you. A much better way to accomplish the same thing would be to show your audience right off the bat that you are interested in them. If your audience believes that you really do care about them and their issues, then they will be hanging on your every word during your speech.

How Is Your Confidence?

As you give your speech, your audience will be sizing you up. What that means for you is that you need to be projecting a sense of self-assurance that will cause them to view you as being both interesting and attractive.

The best way to make this happen is for you to be confident. In order to make this happen, make sure that you are not trying too hard. At the same time, make sure that you are not coming across as being over-confident – that will turn your audience off.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

How your next speech is going to end probably will have a great deal to do with how it begins. In order to share the true benefits of public speaking with your next audience you are going to have to make sure that you get things off on the right foot.

Although it may sound a bit strange, you are going to want to start things off by making sure that you are there – be real, be yourself. Next you are going to want to find ways to communicate to your audience that you genuinely care about them. It’s them and their issues that are interesting, not you. Finally, in order to come across as an attractive and interesting speaker you will need to show your audience some self-confidence.

The great thing about starting your next speech off correctly is that it almost guarantees you that you are going to end things up well. Take the time to work the three tips that we’ve covered into your next speech and you’ll be able to start and finish your next speech on a strong footing.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to show your audience that you are interested in them?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

How much information is there going to be in your next speech? Most of the speeches that we give are full of great information that our audiences would like to remember and follow-up on — your audience understands the importance of public speaking and that’s why they are there. That’s where the problem shows up: when a speaker provides his or her audience with a handout there’s a good chance that you are going to lose their attention. What’s a speaker to do?