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The Importance Of The Opening Line In A Keynote Speech

There is a lot of work that goes into a great exhibition, from choosing the right venue to arranging speakers, stands, additional events and all kinds of extra features.


All of these help to engage delegates, engender networking and accentuate the central themes and ideas behind the event. However, the most important tone-setting part of a conference or exhibition is its keynote speech, which helps to enunciate the central theme and give a message for delegates to leave with.


Great keynotes have helped sell products, revitalise entire companies and make a success of major events, but if there is a most important part of these speeches, it is the opening and closing lines.


The opening line will help set the tone, break the ice and create a foundation that the rest of the speech will build upon. Here are some great examples of techniques that worked very well to create the tone.


Leading With A Question


One of the most direct and engaging ways to start a speech is to ask a question of the audience.


This can be something quite direct, such as Ed Winters asking the audience what they think of when they think of veganism in a speech which explores all of the common arguments against eschewing meat from one’s diet. It immediately gets people to start thinking and challenging their own conceptions.


An active listener is a more engaged listener, and that makes the rest of the speech much stronger.


Telling A Story


People naturally gravitate towards stories, as they help people create constellations and patterns out of the information and data that fill their lives and explain why something matters so much.


This means that a great opening line from a speech could often be used as a great opening line from a book, such is the case with Yubing Zhang’s speech, which conveys the moment, aided by superb delivery, of the moment just before the speaker broke out of her comfort zone.


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