11 things to avoid while starting a speech

11 things to avoid while starting a speech
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First impression is the last impression. By the time you are on stage your audience has already analysed you and passed a judgement about you subconsciously. It’s very easy to say don’t judge someone instantly but fortunately or unfortunately depending upon the situation, our brain is programmed for that. Remember, the first 7 seconds of your speech is very crucial to hook your audience. 

You should avoid starting your speech with common sentences because the moment you say that ,the chances of the audience losing is more. I am not saying it is wrong; it’s always good to start a speech in such a way that your audience is hooked on to you.

Things to avoid while opening your speech

  1. Thank you for the opportunity
  2. Good morning, Good evening Good night.
  3. I will speak for few minutes
  4. My name is. . .

If the MC (Master of ceremony) or introducer has introduced your name, it is not recommended to repeat it again.

Suppose in an informal setup and the audience doesn’t know your name, you can introduce yourself as I mentioned in the example at the end of the article. Or else make sure you follow this guide and craft an amazing speech so that at the end of your speech the audience will be wondering “ Oh, what was his name again?”

  1. I am going to talk about. . .
  2. I am going to tell a story about

Don’t tell them, show them. If you are telling a story, just start with it.
In a formal setup try to introduce a topic in a unique way.

  1. Bear with me for few more minutes
  2. Listen to me carefully
  3. Making excuse or an apology

You are present on the stage to make a difference to the audience. So do not say sentences, which sound like you are pleading them to listen to you, unless you are arousing it with a purpose or strategically.

  1. Humour

Humour is a gamble. There is nothing wrong starting with humour but. . . if it doesn’t work , if the audience won’t laugh out loud as you wanted it to be , then you as a speaker on stage will lose confidence. If you have a Low confidence, the audience will read you like a magazine.

I distinctly remember starting with humour in one of my speeches.

“Mom asked what are you doing for Easter, I said same like Jesus going on Friday and coming back on Monday”

When I delivered this for the first time, the audience couldn’t stop laughing, it boosted my confidence.

When I delivered the same to a different set of audience, silence encapsulated the entire hall.
While you are on stage, trust me this silence can be very loud. I instantly lost my confidence but somehow managed to pick up from there.

So takeaway message from my experience, you can start with humour only if you are sure that the audience will respond or you are experienced enough that your confidence is not effected.

  1. Irrelevant topic

Don’t bore your audience with irrelevant topics. You will lose them instantly. 

TIP:

How to start a speech

Example: Leadership speech 

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants.

-Isaac Newton.  (Pause 3 seconds) Very good evening everyone, my name is _______


Step by Step: Guide to public speaking


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