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How you open your speech sets the tone and expectations of the presentation. In this excerpt from a workshop for teens about public speaking, I share some tips on how to open a speech.

To review, you can open your speech with

  • A question
  • A story
  • A startling fact or figure
  • A quote

The purpose of these various types of openings is to grab the audience’s attention and let them know what to expect.

Also, keep in mind that the body of your speech should take up the most time … the open and close should be much shorter … no more than about 5% of the total time of your speech.

The above video was excerpted from two 45-minute workshops I facilitated for a group of teens and young adults. I am available to speak to your group, both in-person and virtually, on a variety of topics. For more information, visit www.carmaspence.com/speaker.

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About the author

Carma Spence, author of Public Speaking Super Powers, is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and science communication. She is a multi-dimensional entrepreneur, a certified life coach, science fiction writer and poet. She is able to see people's brilliance and help them bring their genius to light. The wind beneath her clients’ wings, Carma provides creative entrepreneurs with expert advice on branding and online presence, as well as the emotional support necessary to carve out their niche for success online. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.