Let me introduce myself……I’m dynamic, cool and charismatic, full of life’s luster, and your attention I shall muster!
Introductions to anything are the most important part of a speech, social interaction, or a presentation. This is because the audience as well as the general public makes a conscious and sometimes unconscious opinion of you within the first minute of you speaking. I wish to convey to you a few tips on how to make your introductions really stand out, engage the audience, and have them in the palm of your hand within the first minute.
Sound pretty great, doesn’t it?
These tips will not be challenging to incorporate either….
- Memorize the introduction!
This one is important and it bleeds into the previous post on conquering your nerves. Firstly a memorized introduction will help calm you down. The intro is not only the most important part of the speech for winning the audience, but it is also the time when you yourself are most nervous. So memorize the intro and alleviate some of your nerves.
By memorizing the introduction you will be fully capable to connect with your target audience, you can maintain eye contact with them, use your body language, and give them the appearance of a professional!
Take center stage, and pause a few seconds before beginning.
This will let the audience breath you in, examine your total being, and give them the idea that you are completely confident and relaxed, even if you are totally freaked out inside.
- Spark there interests in the first few lines!
This is where you can have a little fun with your audience. One of my favorite things to do is to confuse them right off the bat! For example last year I did a speech on going to a cowboy wedding. In this speech I began with a big Yeeeeeeehaw! Then paused for a few second before continuing. Two things happened here, the loud noise brought everyone in the room to attention, and then they wondered where I would go with this.
To give you another example I did a speech about my friend and I looking for the Berlin Wall. I decided to begin the speech again by confusing the audience. I walked up to an audience member and asked “excuse me sir, where is the wall…… where is the wall………WHERE IS THE WALL!”. This generated a lot of confusion, interest and a few awkward laughs.
So starting the speech with a load sound, aphrase, or transporting them to some situation will cause confusion but also interest!
- Engage them with questions…
A great way to gain their interest in your speech is to sprinkle questions throughout the introduction. This will cause them to think of an answer and contemplate what you are saying.
Here are some examples of questions to ask them.
-Who here has had a similar experience?
-Have you ever felt this way?
-we all experience this from time to time, don’t we?
Sometimes you can actually ask for answers to your questions
-can someone give me an example of ………
Or you can really engage them by associating an action with it
-Who here has had a similar experience? Put your hands up and say I!
- Humor 🙂
This one is always a bonus! We love to laugh don’t we? And we love to be around those who make us laugh!
If you go to a speech expecting a serious monologue but are instead met with a few hearty laughs, then you’ll be way more inclined to pay attention in hopes that you’ll laugh again, because it feels so dam good!
These are a few easy techniques to really spice up your speeches by making a gripping, engaging, powerful intro and have the audience in the palm of your hand.
So try out 1, 2 or all 4 of these in your next speech introduction and be amazed at the power and confidence you feel when all eyes are on you, and all pants are on the edge of their seats!