How to open a speech

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

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About the author

Carma Spence, is author of Public Speaking Super Powers. She is fiercely committed to guiding women to Owning their Superpowers and turning their knowledge and interests into a profitable business. She is masterful at helping her clients see what is possible for them and supporting them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, releasing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.

With 20+ years experience in marketing communications and public relations, natural intuitive skills and certification in using some of the most effective transformational coaching tools available, Carma’s mission and commitment is to unleash the inner power every woman entrepreneur possesses so they can boldly go out into the world, transforming the fabric of people’s lives in meaningful and positive ways.

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