Don’t thank the VIPs: How to Open Your Speech
How are you going to open your speech? I’m always a bit nervous when I get started so I like to have the opening nailed. Once I get going I’m ok.
Builds on the following articles:
First, what NOT to do.
- Don’t thank some set of VIPs. That is boring, a waste of time, and insulting to those not on the list.
- Don’t start with”Let me tell you about myself…” We know your bio.
- Don’t start with a joke. It wastes time, and you probably aren’t good at standup comedy (Louis CK, disregard). If you want humor, weave it into the natural flow of the presentation.
Now, what could you start with? I’ve had success with these openings.
- You can thank the person who introduces you or the group as a whole.
- You can start by saying something positive about the previous speaker.
- You can start by asking a question.
- You can start with an inspirational story.