Beginning Your Speech.

Essay by HornbeckeUniversity, Bachelor's January 2004

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People most often remember what they first hear or see. This is the primacy effect.

People also remember what they last hear or see. This is the recency effect.


*ATTENTION-the ability to focus on one element in a given perceptual field.

*FACTORS OF ATTENTION are the following:


·ACTIVITY-Choose active words. Select dynamic stories. Use short segments.

·REALITY-Use tangible concepts to help the audience abstract or generalize, to help make it "real" to them.

·PROXIMITY-means "nearness." We usually notice things that closely surround us.

·FAMILIARITY-references to the familiar are attention-sustaining, esp. in the face of new or strange ideas.

·NOVELTY-novel happenings, dramatic incidents, or unusual developments attract attention. Example: "Grandmother gives birth to Quadruplets."

·SUSPENSE-much of the appeal in mystery stories arises because we don't know how they will end. Creating a sense of suspense in your speech holds the audience's attention.

·CONFLICT-controversy grabs attention. A dilemna always gets the audience thinking in depth for a solution.

·HUMOR-listeners pay attention when they're enjoying themselves. Humor can unite you and your audience by relaxing everyone and changing pace.

·THE VITAL-we pay attention to matters that affect our health, reputation, property, or employment.



Using a Quotation

A quotation may not only be an excellent means of introducing a speech, because it can prod listeners to think about something important and it often captures an appropriate emotional tone, but it can also be used to capture the theme of speech.

Telling a Humorous Story

Telling a funny story or relating a humorous experience is another means of beginning a speech. When doing so, however, observe the following three rules of communication :

1. Be sure that the story is at least amusing, if not funny. And use the...