A Great Start for Your Speech

A Great Start for Your Speech

Doing the right things to give your speech a great start.

There are things you can do to help make your humor connect right from the beginning of your talk.

-Arrive early and meet people in the audience. This builds a rapport that will increase the receptiveness of the audience to your opening lines.

-Be physically and vocally warmed up. Sometimes I step outside for some fresh air or take a brisk walk in the hallway. Actors warm up before performing. Successful speaking and humor delivery requires the same. You either warm up before you speak, or you warm up in front of the audience.

-Know your opening. This will allow you to be more relaxed at the start of your talk and it will enable you to be more observant while you are waiting for your moment on the platform. The time you spend observing, rather than mentally rehearsing your talk, will be time you may connect with some fresh and spontaneous humor to spice up your opening.

-Smile as you approach the speaking platform.

-Eye contact is critical for a successful opening. Really connect and visit with one person at a time. Deliver your first three lines to one person.

-FFF! Find a funny face! Before you are introduced, study the faces in the audience. Deliver your opening lines to someone who is already having a good time; to someone who is smiling and laughing. Give your opening lines to someone who will give good energy back to you.

-Open with one of your better, tested lines. Insert untested, observational material later in the talk, after you’ve built a rapport with the audience.

-Don’t rush your opening. Take a moment to breathe and deliver your opening lines in a clean and deliberate fashion.

Taking these steps, you help ensure the opening of your humorous talk will get off to a good start and give your entire speech a solid foundation on which to build.

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By John Kinde, Humor Specialist speaker from Las Vegas. Copyright 2005 by John Kinde. More humor skills articles and free Ezine at www.HumorPower.com (702) 263-4363.