Introductions & Conclusions
Introductions should secure audience attention and interest, orient listeners to the plan and content of the speech and set expectations.
- Get the audience’s attention with a story, quotation, personal experience, etc.
- Identify the topic and indicate why it is relevant, important, or interesting.
- Establish your credibility through words or behavior.
- Provide context, background, and definitions listeners might need.
- State your purpose, thesis, or research question.
- Preview the body of your speech.
- Make a transition to the first point in the body of the speech.
- Start with “um" or "OK.”
- Apologize for weaknesses in your content, preparation or speaking ability.
- Complain about food, accommodations, equipment, facilities or other speakers.
- Use “humor” that might disparage, offend or alienate your listeners.
- Use cheap tricks to get attention.
- Go on about how hard it was to choose a topic.
Conclusions should reinforce the message and give the speech unity and closure.
- Summarize the main points of your speech.
- Restate your purpose or thesis.
- Create closure, a sense of finality.
- In persuasive speeches, make a final call for commitment or action.
- Open new areas of discussion or argument.
- Change position or viewpoint.
- Resort to feeble closing phrases like “and that's all I have to say.”
- Say “thank you” just because the audience doesn't seem to realize that your speech is over.