READ THIS BEFORE WRITING ANY SPEECH!
Okay now that our clickbait title has pulled you in lets get down to what brought you here. Something you absolutely must know and take into account before writing ANY speech... THE FIRST TEN SECONDS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SECONDS OF ANY SPEECH. Read on below to see why and how to make sure you nail them!
Now for those of you with attention spans long enough to scroll past the picture, welcome to the meat and potatoes of the article! Speaking of attention spans, that is my first point as to why the first ten seconds are the most important. In this age of social media and constant news updates, people's attention spans are shorter than ever! Think about when you click on a video on Facebook or Instagram, if those first ten seconds don't pull you in (sometimes even less) you've closed it and you are onto the next one. Public speaking is no different, if you start off boring, you've got a very minute chance of pulling people back in. Chances are they've already tuned out and are perusing their phones, for the next cute dog photo on Instagram to double tap.
On the other hand, it is much harder to win people back over once you've bored them than it is to lose them if you start out strong. If you have an exciting opener and really pull people in with your first ten seconds of your speech, you are going to be able to ride that momentum out for a long time (possibly the whole speech) as they have decided they are interested in you. If you start out and the audience decides they are bored of your speech already after 10 seconds (They really do make their decisions that fast) then it is going to be next to impossible to get them to reengage.
If you've got a naturally boring topic like say "The History of Paper Clips" or something like that then start your speech off with a shocking stat or something fun to get people interested right off the start. The best speech I ever gave was when I was doing an exercise where you pull a topic out of a hat and the topic I got was "Tape." I had 3 minutes to put it together and I was forced to get creative with it to keep people engaged. I swear to this day it is the best speech I've ever given because I focused on really winning the first ten seconds and keeping things exciting even with a mundane topic like tape.
Well that's it for this one, take this advice and when you have to write your next speech or give your next presentation, really focus on nailing the first ten seconds and I guarantee things will go well from there. Remember, life's too short to give bad speeches.