How To Start A Speech In Public Speaking

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Most people start their speeches in a horrible way, so boring. I want to show you how to start a speech in public speaking. There are 2 things you want to do:

1) You want to establish with the audience what’s in it for them.

Why should I give my attention to you? Why somebody should even bother listening to you. And let’s face it, not many people establish this during these speeches.

2) You need to establish some credibility as to why are you talking about what you are talking about.

How should we start a speech in public speaking?

There are 4 ways that are quite effective in starting a speech and there are some ways that are horrible.

Let’s start with a horrible one.

The most common one is people getting up there and starting with something along the lines of

‘Hi, my name is Ryan McLean and I work as a internet marketer and I am married with 2 kids and I live in blah blah blah.”

People don’t like that and they don’t engage with that. It doesn’t present anything of value to the person listening. They want to know what is in this speech for them, not your resume facts.

That is the most common way that people get it wrong.

Here are 4 ways you can get it right.

4. Start With A Quote

Start with a quote or a proverb or with a verse and tie it in with your speech.

What you are doing is you are taking a quote from a reputable source that people may find interesting and you tie it in with your speech.

You are saying this is important to you because of this quote or because of this proverb. People love quotes and proverbs.

3. Ask A Question

This can be rhetorical or can actually be asking the audience a question.

‘Do you want to be a millionaire?’ that’s probably a rhetorical question. But if you say “Put your hands up if you like sausages” that is a question seeking a response from the audience.

Asking questions brings engagement from the audience and helps draw them into your presentation.

2. Present A Shocking Factoid

Start a speech is with a factoid or some shocking fact.

For example, ‘Did you know that the amount of energy that earth receives in 2 minutes from the sun could power the entire earth for a year? How does that make you think about energy and about energy moving forward?’

So you are taking a factoid, something that might be a bit shocking, and you are asking the audience to rethink something they have always thought was true.

You are asking them to rethink. ‘Ok, I have never thought of that before.’ And then; ‘Hmm, let me listen to you some more.’

1. Tell A Story

Probably the most affective way to start a story is the same way as a parent I put my kids to bed every single night. I read them a story!

And how did the stories start when you were a kid? “Once upon a time”

Kids are trained that when we say ‘once upon a time’ they know it’s a story, they lean in to learn some more.

But we are not going to start an adult speech to a group of adults with ‘once upon a time, in a galaxy far away’. We are going to use an adult way to start and establish a story.

And that’s simply by creating some contect ‘When I was 25.’, ‘In 1985.’ ‘Two years ago.’ you can start with a time frame of when the story happened.

Then you go into your story, ‘this and this happened’. But you need to be careful to tie it into them.

How To Start a Speech Quote


Stories can work so well is because you are creating an open loop. You are creating stories that people what to hear the end to.

But you also need to get the audience involved with the story. They need to be able to draw a comparison to how the story relates to them. (more tips on storytelling)

So remember, next time you are starting a speech don’t start it with the boring statement of ‘hi, I am blah blah blah blah blah.’

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