Many of us have a common problem when it comes to writing a speech and it is how we should start it. Beebe and Beebe (2006) state that there are five important functions for a good introduction which include: get the audience’s attention, introduce the subject, establish your credibility, and preview your main ideas. Getting the audience’s attention can be difficult but there are several ways for it to be done.
One type of attention getter is an interesting quote. For example, if your speech is on how you are against animal cruelty an interesting statistic could be a percentage of animals that are found abused every year by the humane society. This would capture the audience’s attention because it is shocking and they would want to learn more. Having a quote or a statistic gives the audience a reason to listen because it can intrigue them to wonder what you are talking about.
The introduction is also used to share what the main points of your speech are. It is used as a preview so that the audience knows what you are going to talk about throughout your speech. This gives the audience insight to what will be discussed. This is a great because they know the main points of the speech and then they can hear you go in depth about each point to, with supporting facts.
The final point of an introduction is to establish your credibility when it comes to the certain topic we are discussing. The audience needs to know they can believe in what you are saying because they don’t want to be misled. Your job is to make sure that they know you are credible that you know what you are talking about. One way that this can be done is by just being confident and prepared. Another way we to establish credibility is by telling your audience of your own personal experiences that relate to the topic. For instance, let’s say that you are giving a speech about poverty. You can talk about how you have witnessed it in certain areas like in India.
Introductions are very important when it comes to speeches because it is what your audience hears first. From the introduction your audience will be able to know the main points you are trying to make. Previewing the main ideas, having an attention getter, giving the audience a reason to listen, and establishing your credibility are all important factors to remember when writing the introduction of a speech. If you keep in mind all these points then you will have a strong introduction.
Beebe, S., & Beebe, S. (2006). Public speaking: An audience- centered approach. (8 ed.). Pearson.