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Public speaking is difficult in itself, and the perfect opening is even more so. The key is to figure out what emotion you want to convey first, and get into that mindset yourself to be convincing.
Many of us rush through speeches because public speaking makes us nervous. You need to speak slowly for a good speech. To get that right, talk at the pace you would when telling someone a phone number.
Even people who are unafraid of public speaking get uncomfortable when asked to talk off-the-cuff. In the few minutes before you have to go up on stage, think of the main line you want to say and lead with it.