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Bad Opening Lines to a Speech

If you are a member of Toastmasters, you might have heard a speech open with the following line, THE worst opening line for a speech:

"Mr. or Madam Toastmasters, fellow Toastmasters, most welcome guests"

Did that opening captivate you, interest you, intrigue you, arouse you? Yawn. Probably not. In business, we hear similarly painful openings. In this article, George Torok, speech coach for executives, shares 10 bad opening lines guaranteed to bore your audience.

"Bad Opening Lines to Your Speech: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

You had me at hello. Imagine if you could deliver an opening to your presentation that was that effective. You can grab your audience with "hello" lines. But first you need to banish these disaster lines from the opening of your speech. Avoid these opening line mistakes in your presentation.

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking

This line has often been said with sarcasm. The speaker is an experienced speaker and is trying to be humble and funny. Sarcasm is a low level of humor. It is a negative way to start even if you get the laugh.

I don't know why I have been asked to speak

This line is either sarcastic or true. If the first is true see the above. If the second is true the audience is in for a boring speech. Because if you don't know why you have been asked to speak how will you know what your purpose for speaking is?

I haven't really prepared anything

This line is either a sarcastic joke (see point one) or an admission of truth. If you are unprepared you are telling your audience that you value their time and attention very little. In other words, if you were important I would've prepared something - but you're not so I didn't. The audience had better prepare themselves for a self indulgent boring presentation.

Speaking off the top of my head

What does that mean? What does that tell your audience about your preparation or respect of their time. And, how do you speak "off the top of your head"? Do you ever speak from the bottom of your feet, the end of your elbow or behind your buttocks?

Today I am going to talk about

Boring! Start with that line and you have bored the audience with your first seven words. It's an old, overused, unimaginative and cliché line.

Click here to read the 5 more lines to avoid on George's site.

© George Torok is the Speech Coach for Executives. Excerpt used with permission. He helps business leaders deliver million dollar presentations. Claim your copy of the Power Presentations Tips free at Arrange for presentation skills training or private presentation coaching at or call 905-335-1997

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