Seven Methods that can be used to Gain Attention in an Introduction

1.One method of gaining attention is to relate the topic to the audience.

a. People pay attention to things that affect them directly.
b. No matter what other interest-arousing lures a speaker uses, she or he should always relate the topic to the audience.

2. A second method of gaining attention is to state the importance of the topic.

a. An audience is not likely to be interested in a topic they regard as unimportant.
b. Whenever a speaker discusses a topic whose importance may to demonstrate its importance in the introduction.

3. A third method of gaining attention is to startle the audience.

a. This method can be highly effective.
b. It is important, that the startling material be directly related to the speech.

4. A fourth method of gaining attention is to arouse the curiosity of the audience.

a. People are curious.
b. Their interest can be engaged with a series of statements that whet their curiosity about the subject of the speech.

5. A fifth method of gaining attention is to question the audience.

a. A speaker can use either a single question or a series of questions.
b. The question or questions should be firmly related to the content of the speech.

6. A sixth method of gaining attention is to begin with a quotation.

a. A well-chosen quotation can add depth, human interest, or humor to an introduction.
b. The quotation will be most effective if it is no longer than a sentence or two.

7. A seventh method of gaining attention is to tell a story.

a. Because all people enjoy stories, this may be the most effective method of beginning a speech.
b. For this method to work, the story must be delivered well.

8. Other methods of gaining attention include referring to the occasion, inviting audience participation, using audio equipment or visual aids, relating to a previous speaker, and beginning with humor.

a. All of these methods can be effective depending on the audience, the topic, and the occasion.
b. Unlike the first seven methods of gaining attention, these additional methods are used more frequently in speeches outside the classroom.
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