Start at the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start · · · · · Forge a bond with the audience. Establish credibility and goodwill. Create interest. Preview the speech by introducing your main points. "Hook" the audience by grabbing their attention. 117 Think about all the movies, television shows, and plays you've seen--they all open with a hook. The same is true of novels, short stories, and essays. And the same will be true of your speeches. Before you write the introduction, put yourself on the other side of the lectern and think about what kind of opening would grab your attention. Would a brief anecdote do it? How about a question? A quotation? A joke? What suits your audience, purpose, and style? Let's start with the story opening. Encores and Exits If you're a recognized authority in your field, your reputation will automatically convey credibility. As long as your speech stays within the boundaries of your area of expertise, you're going to be trusted. If you're not recognized as an expert, the host should read off your credentials to establish your credibility. If the host fails to share your credentials with the audience and they are important to the success of your speech, don't shy away from introducing yourself as part of your opening. Meet the situation head on by saying, "Let me tell you a little bit about myself"--and then do. This is going to mean that you'll have to adjust your prepared