"...And What NOT To Do."
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don't like any of the introductions described on the
previous page, don't sweat it; they're not for everyone,
and certainly not for every speech. However, I would
be remiss if I didn't keep you from succumbing to the
oh-so-trite "conventional" intros which too
often are the easy route for lazy speechwriters.
There are several such intros to avoid besides the opening
joke one-liner previously discussed... but let me hit that
one again: don't open with a lame, half-assed,
lowest-common-denominator punchline! Good.
Now here are the others to avoid at all costs:
The Opening Quote - It's a standard these days:
people think they can start a speech smoothly (while
simultaneously making themselves look educated) by quoting
some old/distinguished/famous person on the subject.
Sorry, but unless it's a really good quote with amazing
following material, it's just going to bury you even
deeper. Think about it - when was the last time you
were captivated by a speech that opened with "I
believe it was John Q. Someguy who once said..."
A Story about Writing the Speech - This is the crutch
of those who are really uncomfortable with public
performances. The whole "last night I was
thinking about what to say to you on the subject of ____,
when..." just doesn't cut it in most cases. On
the other hand, if something truly extraordinary and
spellbindingly interesting did happen to you while
in the process of speechwriting... well, be my guest!
The Dictionary Definition - Never never
never, ever ever ever. In fact, if a quote from
Webster's occurs anywhere in your speech (unless there are
some remarkable extenuating circumstances), you need to
rethink it. The answer is no.
Okay, got your intro figured out?
Let's move on to your Content...