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.
Photo by University of the Fraser Valley
Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues, advises that you should first choose an emotion to open the speech and internalise it so that it comes across in your words:
Decide what emotion is appropriate for the beginning of your speech — are you indignant, angry, happy, or proud? — and focus on getting into the feeling as deeply as you can. Remember a time when you felt that way. Remember everything about the emotion. Feel it through all five senses. Then go out and take the stage.
Morgan has other tips for speeches in the article below, including the idea of talking to yourself, which we've covered in detail before.