Today I’m delighted to introduce my intern, Michaela Marley! Michaela is a smart and beautiful 16-year-old who has helped me tremendously with Next Step administrative tasks. She is the source of lots of the social media posts that you see, and I’m eternally grateful for her talents and hard work. Michaela is also an emerging speaker, and she’s been sharing what she’s learning in her class with me. I think it’s great stuff, so today Michaela is our guest blogger. Will ya’ll make her feel welcome by leaving some hospitable comments? Thanks, friends! ~ Amy
2. A shocking statement or a startling statistic
“I am going to die in less than twenty-four hours!”
Wow. Didn’t see that coming did you? Using a statement like this before going on to speak about how valuable our time is, can give your audience a reality check. A shocking statement, true or not, can really grab your audience’s attention and, depending on what you say, can give them a new perspective on your
It is also a great idea to have a startling statistic, especially when you’re trying to persuade your audience. I wrote a persuasive speech on cell phone driving, and I gave the statistic about the number of car crashes that happen every year due to cell phones. Startling statistics and statement can give your audience a wakeup call.
3. A quotation or familiar saying
Quotes from famous people expand your speech from just you. It’s not just your words anymore, but another reliable person agrees with you as well. Your audience is more persuaded if someone else is supporting your ideas. Also, using familiar sayings such as, “the early bird catches the worm,” and “a penny saved is a penny earned,” can bring understanding and even life to your audience.
4. A vivid descriptive picture
“Close your eyes and imagine that it’s Thanksgiving Day. The large turkey is baking in the oven. Your mouth waters as the aroma of the warm pumpkin pie wafts through your nose. The dining room table is all set and you’re just waiting for your aunts, uncles, and cousins to arrive!” Mental pictures such as this can wrap your audience into your speech and get them ready for the rest of your speech.
AGI or an attention getting intro is what’s going to bring your speech to life even before you get into the meat of your subject. It also gets your audience alert and ready for what you have to say. Next time you’re writing your speech put an AGI at the beginning and see what a difference it makes your audience.