How To Start A Speech: Speech Hooks And Attention Grabbers | Evening Rehearsal Blog | writing blog (2023)

How To Start A Speech: Speech Hooks And Attention Grabbers | Evening Rehearsal Blog | writing blog (1)

Public speaking can be stressful. In addition to preparing the information itself and creating an outline, you also need to structure it so that it doesn't become boring and capture your audience's attention.

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Presenting your information is just as important as the information itself. So, to grab your audience's attention, you need to start with a catchy hook. The hook is the only way to get your listener interested in what you're saying, so don't start with a simple greeting and introduction.

In this article you will findNine attention-grabbing speeches based on top TED talks. You will learn to write good phrases. You'll also find the six worst language introductions to avoid. Let us begin!


  1. πŸ™‹ Talk about yourself

  2. πŸ“° Tell a story

  3. ❔ Ask a question

  4. πŸ’ͺ Make a statement

  5. πŸ“Š Provide statistics

    (Video) 6 Public Speaking Tips To Hook Any Audience
  6. πŸ˜… Use humor

  7. 🀯 Shock the audience

  8. 🌈 Use a metaphor

  9. ❌ 6 worst ways to start a speech

πŸ™‹ 1. Talk about yourself

One of the best ways to get your audience interested in you is to beehrlichesincerely. When you tell your listener about yourself, they can better identify with you. Share your experiences with them.

Here's a speechElisabeth Gilbert, the author ofEat, play, love, where she talks about herself at the beginning of her speech. She talks about her passion, writing. She made her performance easy to listen to and connected with the audience.

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Elizabeth Gilbert: Her indescribable creative genius

πŸ“° 2. Tell a story

Telling a story is also one of the good hooks for speeches. You can make your audience resonate with you or identify with you by telling a sincere story. If you tell your readers more about you by talking about your experiences, they will pay attention to what you say.

Next a speech fromBill Gates, where did you usea story from your childhoodas an eye-catcher. In this speech he talks about his fear of nuclear war and how his family would hide in the barrel if attacked.

Bill Gates: The next outbreak? we are not ready

The next speech isChimanda Ngozi Adichie, a famous Nigerian author. She also uses a story as an opening for her presentation. Her story is about how she learned to read at a very young age.

(Video) How to Start a Speech

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

❔ 3. Ask a question

Asking your audience a question is also one of the best strategies to start your presentation. If you ask a questionYou can engage your listenerand provide directions for your thoughts.

In the next speechSimon Sinekasks the audience an interesting question that immediately grabs their attention:How do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to contradict all assumptions?

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

πŸ’ͺ 4. Make a strong statement

Another way is to grab your audience's attention with a strong statement. A solid, moving statement canInspire your audienceand persuade her to listen to him. Typically, a strong opening statement is followed by a question.

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You can check the speech ofJulian sweetheart, one of the best TED speakers. He makes an interesting statement about the human voice by comparing it to an instrument. He later asks the audience a question to get them thinking.

Julian Treasure: How to speak so people want to listen

πŸ“Š 5. Provide great statistics

Impressive statistics can also be one of the eye-catchers for speeches. Think of a statistic that struck you when you first encountered it. Next, try to avoid using simple numbers. Instead, you can compare the numbers to something else. For example, instead of saying you spend 8 hours online every day, you could say you spend a full day online.

It's crucial to choose a statistic that isinteresting for speakers and listeners.

Next a speech fromRobert Waldinger, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard, on happiness. He begins his speech by presenting the results of a survey. In this survey, millennials were asked about their goals in life.

Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the Longest Study of Happiness

πŸ˜… 6. Use o Humor

Humor is another great way to get attention. Although your speech can be about a serious and formal topic, you can start off with something funny. However, it would be better to be extremely careful as your joke might be offensive to someone. Then,Try making a joke on a neutral topic.

Here's a speechPamela Meierhow to spot a liar She begins her speech with a joke about everyone being a liar. Her wit is captivating and makes you curious to see what else she has to say.

Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar

πŸ–– 7. Be interactive

What can be more engaging than actually asking your audience to do something? Your audience will give you their full attention if you get them to interact with you. You canAsk your listeners to raise their handsask a question.

The following speech isKelly McGonigal, psychologist and Stanford professor, on making stress your friend. To begin her speech, Kelly asks listeners to raise their hands if they've experienced stress in the past year.

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

The following speech isCeleste Headleeten ways to have a better conversation. In her speech, she urges listeners to raise their hands if they have excluded someone because of an offensive topic of conversation.

(Video) How you can Grab Attention in a Speech by Owen Fitzpatrick

Celeste Headlee: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation

🀯 8. Shock the audience

Some people use the method of shocking the audience to get their attention. You cando something your audience isn't expecting. For example, you can say goodbye or change your clothes at the beginning of the speech. These actions will grab everyone's attention, but they only work if the topic is appropriate.

In this TED Talk about how schools kill creativitySenhor Ken Robinson, he takes an unexpected step by saying he's leaving right after greeting his audience.

Sir Ken Robinson: Are Schools Killing Creativity?

The following speech isCameron Russellabout how looks aren't everything. She changed on stage as she opened her speech.

Cameron Russell: Looks aren't everything. Believe me I'm a model.

If you're still wondering how to start a speech, a color comparison might be a good option. You can usea metaphor,Symbol, or another idiom to express your thoughts in an appealing way.

Here's a speechand GilbertAbout the Science of Happiness. In his book he compares two perspectives over two million years. Through this comparison, he manages to control the minds of the audience and make them think about his words.

Dan Gilbert: The Amazing Science of Happiness

❌ Bonus: The 6 worst ways to start a speech

As we learn different techniques for getting attention, let's look at a list of things to avoid when opening a speech.

improvise No matter how much time you have to prepare, try to use it wisely. Even if you only have half an hour to prepare, give yourself every minute to sketch, find structure, and a good hook to grab your audience's attention.
Don't check the technique Technical difficulties are something we cannot control. However, we can do everything possible and check the technology in advance. Try to arrive at your speech location early to check that everything is working properly.
To apologizeAn apology can only draw attention to the issue that your audience may not have noticed. So try to ignore whatever you are struggling with and focus on your speech. If you feel the need to apologize for something obvious, again, you can do it by expressing your gratitude instead of apologizing.
make an insulting jokeMaking a joke is an excellent way to start your speech. However, your joke must be ethical. Don't think of your audience as a friend you can talk to about anything. Treat your audience with as much respect as possible.
Ask the public to turn off their cell phonesInstead of asking your audience to turn off their cell phones, try to focus on making your speech interesting and engaging so your audience doesn't want to be distracted by their cell phones.
introduce yourselfDon't say your name because your audience should already know. Leave your presentation to the person organizing the event.

We hope the above tips will help you prepare for your gig. If you have not yet decided which topic to choose for your presentation, feel free to use oursGeneratorto get ideas. The tool is capable of creating topics not only for essays but also for speeches.

❓ How to start a speech: FAQ

How do I start a speech for school?

To start a student speech, you can talk about yourself or share a personal story. By telling your audience a story about yourself, you can engage them. An engaged audience pays attention to what you say. Another option is to start your speech with a quote. You can also browse some examples for inspiration.

(Video) Audience Attention Grabbers

How do I start an informative speech?

To start an informative speech, you need to have a catchy hook. You can try to ask your audience a question or share your experience. Once you're done with a looker, you can formulate your thesis and move on to your main points.

How do I start a persuasive speech?

Start your persuasive speech with a catchy hook. You can use a quote, joke, story or other gimmick. A good option is to ask a question to get your audience thinking about your topic. If you have enough information, you can also view impressive statistics on your topic.

How do I start a motivational speech?

You can start your motivational speech by asking the audience a question or asking them to do something. This can appeal to her and get her interested in what you're trying to say. Another way to engage your audience is to make up a joke or tell a story about yourself.

πŸ”— References

  1. Reden – UNC Writing Center

    (Video) Informative Speech Self-Critique


1. Teaching Strategies - Gaining Children's Attention
(CECE Early Childhood Videos at Eastern CT State U.)
(Dominic Colenso)
3. How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure
4. Feb. 13, 2023 Replay - Online Presenters Toastmasters
(Online Presenters Toastmasters)
5. How to Write a Hook? (Includes Activity)
(TolentinoTeaching (Resources for English Teachers))
6. Blogging to Build Your Platform: A Free Workshop
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