|1: Effective Introduction|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2003/11/14 01:10 中图读者俱乐部|
A good introduction performs three functions. First, it captures the audience’s attention and arouses curiosity. Second, it previews the major ideas of your speech. Third, it tells your audience why they should listen to you.
1. Attentioncatching Opening Line
A key purpose of the introduction is to acquire favorable attention of the audience. Because listeners form their first impressions of the speech quickly, if the introduction does not capture their attention, the rest of the speech may be wasted on them.
Imagine for a moment that it is year 2050. You are 65 years old. You’ve just picked up your mail and opened an envelope that contains a check for 100，000! No, you didn’t win the lottery. You smile as you realize your own modest investment strategy over the last forty years has paid off handsomely.
2. Preview Major Ideas
Within a couple of seconds after you begin your speech, the audience should have a pretty good idea of what you are going to talk about. Do not get so carried away with jokes or illustrations that you forget the basic purpose.
Today I’d like to answer three questions that can help you become a better money manager: First,swheresdoes money come from? Second,swheresdo you invest it? And third, how does a little money growsintosa lot of money?
3. Tell Your Audience Why They Should Listen to You
Even after you have captured the attention of your audience and told the topic, you have to give the audience some reason to want to listen to the rest of your speech.
Knowing the answers to these three questions can literally pay big dividends for you. With only modest investments and a well-disciplined attitude, you could easily have 100,000.
The introduction to your speech will span only a few sentences or, for a longer speech, a few paragraphs. How can you effectively capture attention, present your topic, establish credibility, and preview your major points in just a few minutes? Try one of these six tried-and-true techniques: (1) using a startling statement, (2) asking a question, (3) using humor, (4) using suspense, (5) telling a story, (6) establishing credibility. Not every one of these techniques is appropriate for every speech or occasion. However, among these six techniques, you’re sure to find at least one that will work well for your next speech.
1. Using a Starling Statement
If you want your audience to snap to attention immediately, start your introduction with a startling statement. You might describe an extremely unusual situation, reveal a shocking statistic, or vividly portray an alarming problem. Not only will listeners sit up and take notice, they’ll also listen carefully to find out more about what you just said and why you said it.
When student Heather Larson of Northern State University in South Dakota wrote her speech“Stemming the Tide,”she used a series of startling statements to draw her audience instantlysintosher message.
Every eleven minutes one American dies from this killer. That is twice as many as will be murdered in crimes of homicide. It took eight years of Vietnam to exceed the 46,000 that will die this year. Three times as many Americans have died of this disease in the last decade than the 133,000 who died of AIDS. This disease will cost you and me and other Americans over 6 billion in medical costs and lost productivity this year alone, not to mention the human losses we will suffer. This tide awash on our shores may well directly touch each and every one of us in this room. I speak of breast cancer.
2. Asking a Question
You can get listeners involved in your introduction by asking a question that leadssintosyour central idea.
See this dollar bill? What can it do for you? You can invest it, save it to buy something more expensive, or you can just spend it. Although there isnt much to buy for a dollar these days. Kids, on the other hand, would take this dollar and be able to spend it on something that they would be satisfied with, even if what they were spending it on could kill them. This dollar can buy kids a high that’s cheap, available, and lethal to purchase.
Clearly, Wadeson did’t want her listeners to actually respond. What she wanted was to get them thinking about her topic, the dangers of inhaling solvents and aerosols.
3. Using Humor
Humor, handled well, can be a wonderful attention getter. It can help relax your audience and win their good will for the rest of the speech.
The following speaker used humor to express appreciation for being invited to speak to asgroupsby beginning his speech with his story.
Three corporate executive were trying to define the word“fame”.
One said,“Fame is getting invited to the White House to see the President.”
The second said,“Fame is being invited to the White House and while you are visting, the phone rings and he doesn’t answer it.”
The third executive said,“Your both wrong. Fame is being invited to the White House to visit with the President when his Hot Line ring. He answers it, listens a minute, and then says,‘Here, it’s for you!’”
Being asked to speak today is like being in the White House and the call’s for me.
4. Using Suspense
Consider how Rebecca Witte, a student at the University of Missouri in St. Louis, introduced a speech to a college audience.
I am a seven letter word. I destroy friends, families, neighborhoods and schools. I am the biggest killer among teenagers today. I am not alcohol. I am not cocaine. I am suicide.
Witte’s introduction aroused curiosity and encouraged listeners to stay tuned for the answer. Then, to keep listeners involved, Witte cited a few surprising statistics and went on to pose two thought-provoking questions:
Why is it then that the high schools aren’t doing anything? Why is it that high schools do not have mandatory suicide prevention programs as a part of their everyday curriculum? Those are very good questions and that is why I am here today.
Initially, Witte’s introduction intrigued her listeners and therefore captured their attention for a minute or two. But Witte had to do more to keep her audience interested after the first few sentences. By quoting statistics and asking questions, she gave her audience solid reasons for staying interested.
5. Telling a Story
Everybody likes a good story, so long as it relates to the topic at hand. Stories can be effective in leading off any kind of speech.
A college student used this story to introduce his speech,“Health Care Combat Zones”.
California emergency room nurse Tim Dufelmeier became a hero - not because of his successful efforts to save a patient, but because of his valiant rescue of an emergency room physician. A disgruntled patient had lunged at three ER physicians without warning, wounding two slightly and shooting one point-blank in the head and chest. Dufelmeier charged past the gunman, grabbed the doctor and rushed him to emergency life-saving surgery.
6. Establishing Credibility
The reason why the audience listens to you is closely related to how credible you are. You need your listener to know that you are qualified to stand there and tackle the topic.
When John F. Ferguson, a minister, spoke during a VeteransDay assembly at a high school in Kirkland, Washington, he stated his credentials during his introduction.
We have come together to honor the military service of American men and women, particularly those who participated in the war in Vietnam. I’m one of those people. I served in the United States Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1967. I was a member of the 15th Marine Counterintelligence Team, operating just below the Demilitarized Zone. Our team was a part of small unit combat and intelligence operations, now known as the Phoenix Program.
Ferguson let his audience know that he was personally involved in the war. He didn’t brag or boast; he simply explained what his wartime role was. His experience was directly relevant to the topic of war veterans and to the purpose of the school’s assembly to honor veterans, so he seemed more credible to the audience.
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