I’ve done one or two (hundred) speeches over the years.
Lots of lectures.
Hundreds of pitches.
I’ve tried and tested just about every way to start a speech and I can tell you two things:
1. This is NOT how you start your speech
“Hi, sorry, I’m a bit nervous. Thanks so much for having me today. I’m so thrilled to be here. I’ve worked really hard on my speech and I hope you like it. So here goes.”….
2. This is how to start your speech
“Howdy. I’m pleased I could make the time to come and speak today. I’ve got some really valuable information to give you, so I’ll get right into it.”
See how that first one is more of an apology. Subservient. Weak. No one wants to listen to that.
People want to listen to the confident, organised, direct person who has promised them value.
Be that speaker.
Bonus tip: Oh, and don’t use notes. Know your topic and speak naturally. It’s 1,000 times better.
Bonus bonus tip: Be bold, daring, different, exciting, crazy, weird, engaging… at least one of those things.