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How Can I Write An Introductory Speech?

Updated on June 11, 2011

Writing Introductory Speeches Can Be Entertaining

Writing attention grabbing introductory speeches can be entertaining, depending on your sense of humor and imagination.

Even when most things coming into your mind will never be spoken, you may discover that you're becoming quite amused by the task.

This amusement breeds excitement and, before long, you'll have an introductory speech which excites your audience because your enthusiasm will come through in the way you present yourself.

I invite you to continue reading for some great tips in creating introductory speeches; the tips are to the point, just as your speech should be.

However...

How do you go about sitting at your desk with a blank computer screen to an engaging introductory speech?

Of course, you can still use pen and paper. :)

7 Key Points to Consider - when writing an introductory speech

  • Opening sentence is crucial.
  • Knowing your subject is vital.
  • Knowing your audience is imperative.
  • What tone do you want to set during your speech?
  • Limit details.
  • Be brief
  • Read your speech aloud. How does it sound?

Opening Sentence

The opening sentence of your speech should be as catching as the headline of a front page article.

If you're successful in writing your first sentence, you'll hold the attention of your audience.

If not, your audience will begin to fidget and, by the time the main speaker is introduced, they will be ready to go home.

A Few Examples

Here are a few examples of opening sentences. When you read them, I will have succeeded only if you desire to read more; otherwise, I have failed in my presentation.

  • This graduating class of 2010 sets a great example for each and everyone of us...
  • In a few minutes, you will hear from Johnny Box but, first, I would like to tell you about this man who saved the life of a toddler just a short while ago...
  • Health insurance is a privilege and a blessing; it's unfortunate that such a high percentage of people do not have it.
  • It is such an honor for Canada to host the Winter Olympic Games, 2010; the excitement surrounding this occasion can be compared with little else.

Know Your Subject

An audience will know when you're making general comments about a person, event, or product. People don't attend functions if all they'll hear is the same information they can learn from newspapers or the Internet.

Have something in your introductory speech which offers your audience something they might never find out otherwise. For example, you may wish to inform your audience that the speaker you're about to introduce speaks seven languages fluently and has an identical twin brother who lives on another continent. It would show your audience that you've taken time to do some research before standing in front of them.

Limit Details

The introductory speaker will have some idea of what the speaker will be presenting in his, or her, speech.

Don't bring up details the main speaker will talk about.

Your focus should be on introducing the speaker, or subject - gaining the attention of the audience - and then letting the main speaker take over.

Speeches and You

Have you ever had to make an introductory speech?

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This one is important;

You cannot take this point for granted.

How well do you...

Know Your Audience

If you're giving an introductory speech for a Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) seminar, you aren't going to begin your speech by telling your audience that it's all right to drink and drive as long as they only have one beer. This will turn your audience off from the onset; as opposed to engaging the audience for good, you will have them feeling disappointed with you.

Furthermore, they will begin to question the motives of the guest speaker and would become uncomfortable or, possibly, upset. It would make everyone look, and feel, bad.

To prevent any of this from taking place, start by relating a story or event that your audience can relate to. Even if your speech brings tears to peoples' eyes, you'll have gained the attention of your audience.

Set the Tone

Be passionate about your subject and set your tone according to your subject.

If you're preparing a speech for a function promoting world peace, be optimistic. If introducing your audience to a speaker who will discuss the consequences of violence, don't sound enthusiastic.

Furthermore, if introducing a speaker who will tell Christian teens about an upcoming youth event, be excited and upbeat. Don't sound as though you're attending a funeral.

Be brief

A long-winded speech is taboo

Though it's great to entertain and allow people the opportunity to relax and share a few laughs, there is a time and place for everything.

Keep in mind that all functions are set up with a primary purpose in mind; hearing the voice of the opening speaker for 15 - 30 minutes is, definitely, not it.

An opening speech should take between 3-5 minutes, just long enough to introduce the main speaker and set the tone for the presentation to follow.

The Sound of the Speech

Read your speech. How does it sound?

Is the tone appropriate to your audience/subject? Are your sentences too long, or too short?

Are your thoughts organized?

Is your speech longer than the allotted time frame?

You can always choose the option to record yourself and play it back. A digital voice or micro-cassette recorder would work perfectly. However, if you prefer to see how you present your speech, you can always choose to video yourself or watch yourself in the mirror, providing you don't have to refer to your notes much.

However...

here is a word of caution:

Don't be too quick to make your decision!

So you think you've succeeded...

Are you really sure?

You may need to revise your speech a number of times before you feel it's good enough but, even then, always seek the opinion of some friends by reading it to them as though they were the intended audience.

If they feel you have a winning introductory speech, it's up to you to practice your speech so that when you stand before your audience, you'll sound like a professional and deliver a masterpiece.

If you're too shy to read your speech to your friends, you'll have to wonder about whether or not you should take the chance of delivering it in public.


If you would like to see my other angel blessed lenses, please click on the image above.

Photo by Norma Budden.

All rights reserved.


How Can I Write An Introductory Speech? by Norma Budden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Does the occasion ever call for you to make an introductory speech? If so, I hope these hints have helped. However, if you are a seasoned pro, I'd love to hear any other hints you would like to add to this lens.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I AM A GOOD ORATOR, ACCORDING TO ME. EVENTHOUGHJ I FEEL SOME DIFFICULTY IN GIVING SOME SPOT SPEECHES, SO I REFER THIS WEBSITE, IT WILL BE VERY USEFUL TO ME. THANK YOU.

      I AM A SECOND LITERATURE STUDENT

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Good Work

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great advice! we have to write a speech at school andMEMORIZE it! so good luck with that. for me...

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      Great advice on writing a speech.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      good advice on how to start, sometimes just plugging in and then coming back later to revise is necessary.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome Tips

      I had learned many things

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome Tips

      I had learned many things

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Great tips..well done:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Writing depending on our sense of humor and imagination.Thanks for sharing. Project Management Services

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      Great tips here, **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel

    • profile image

      sylvester88 7 years ago

      These are excellent suggestions & resources for an introductory speech for a business speaker or keynote speaker. Thank you for illustrating the importance of making a great introductory speech. http://bit.ly/blikz7

    • teamlane profile image

      teamlane 7 years ago

      Great lens Norma_Budden! :)

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      Great advice. Lots of good information here for those of us who from time to time do introductory speeches.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Super tips on making an introductory speech. I wish I had read this before I had to introduce a speaker at a nursing conference. Of course, the fact that he gave me his bio 10 minutes before I was to speak, didn't help either.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image
      Author

      AuthorNormaBudden 7 years ago

      @anonymous: You're right; that definitely didn't help at all. It helps to have the opportunity to research a little about a person's background much longer than 10 minutes before you are due to speak. :)

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image
      Author

      AuthorNormaBudden 7 years ago

      @hlkljgk: Thanks!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      great tips - thanks!

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image
      Author

      AuthorNormaBudden 7 years ago

      @ZenandChic: Thanks so much, Patricia. I'm revisiting some of the initial lenses I created which haven't been getting as much love and attention ... I will likely dress this one up even further yet but I'm glad you liked it well enough as it is now. :)

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      This is full of good tips. Great lens! Blessed by angel!