10 Tips for a Strong Speech Opening | Speak New York

Starting a speech can be one of the most challenging parts of public speaking. It sets the tone for the rest of your presentation and can either captivate or bore your audience. Whether you’re delivering a presentation in front of your colleagues or giving a keynote speech at a conference, it’s crucial to hook your audience from the beginning.

1. Begin with a hook:

The opening of your speech should grab your audience’s attention and create a sense of intrigue. Consider using a quote, story, or anecdote that relates to your topic. This can pique the audience’s interest and motivate them to listen further.

2. Know your audience:

It’s essential to understand your audience’s expectations and interests to tailor your speech accordingly. Consider their age, gender, education level, and profession when choosing your opening statement. Understanding your audience will help you connect with them and create a more engaging speech.

3. Establish credibility:

Introducing yourself and establishing your credentials can help build trust and credibility with your audience. Let them know why you’re qualified to speak on the topic and why they should listen to you.

4. State your purpose:

Let your audience know why you’re speaking and what you hope to achieve. State your main objective and preview the main points you’ll be covering in your speech.

5. Use visual aids:

Visual aids can help capture your audience’s attention and create a more engaging speech. Consider using images, videos, or slides to supplement your presentation and provide a visual reference for your audience.

6. Be enthusiastic:

Starting your speech with energy and enthusiasm can help create a positive atmosphere and engage your audience. Smile, make eye contact, and use gestures to convey your excitement and passion for the topic.

7. Practice:

Rehearsing your opening statement can help build confidence and reduce anxiety. Consider practicing in front of a mirror or with a friend to get feedback on your delivery and fine-tune your approach.

8. Be authentic:

Authenticity is key when it comes to public speaking. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or use canned speech. Be genuine and speak from the heart to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

9. Use humor:

Humor can be a great way to break the ice and create a relaxed atmosphere. Consider using a joke or a witty comment to lighten the mood and engage your audience.

10. Ask a question:

Asking a question can help engage your audience and encourage participation. Consider asking a thought-provoking question related to your topic to get the audience thinking and actively engaged in your speech.

11. Use a relevant quote:

Using a quote from a well-known figure or relevant source can help establish credibility and add depth to your speech. Consider finding a quote that supports your main objective and using it to open your presentation.


12. Tell a personal story:

Sharing a personal story related to your topic can help establish a connection with your audience and create a more engaging presentation. Consider using a personal experience to illustrate your main point and draw your audience in.

13. Use a provocative statement:

Using a provocative statement can help create a sense of urgency and intrigue in your audience. Consider making a bold statement related to your topic that challenges the audience’s assumptions and gets them thinking critically.

14. Use a prop:

Using a prop can help create a visual reference for your audience and make your presentation more memorable. Consider using a physical object or a visual aid that supports your main point and helps illustrate your message.

15. Start with a shocking statistic:

Starting your speech with a shocking statistic can help grab your audience’s attention and create a sense of urgency around your topic. Consider using a surprising statistic related to your industry or topic that sets the stage for the rest of your presentation.

16. Engage with the audience:

Engaging with the audience from the beginning can help create a more interactive and engaging presentation. Consider asking the audience a question, having them raise their hands, or getting them to participate in a short activity related to your topic.

17. Use repetition:

Repetition can be a powerful tool when it comes to public speaking. Consider repeating a key phrase or message throughout your speech to reinforce your main point and help your audience remember your message.

By using these tips, you can take your speech to the next level and create a more memorable and impactful presentation. Remember to stay true to your voice, be confident, and always practice your delivery to ensure a successful speech.


Starting a speech can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and preparation, you can hook your audience from the beginning and deliver a captivating presentation. Remember to start with a hook, know your audience, establish credibility, state your purpose, use visual aids, be enthusiastic, practice, be authentic, use humor, and ask a question to engage your audience and leave a lasting impression.

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