How to Start a Speech

Published 2012-03-11
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I am Conor Neill. I teach. I share tips. I ask questions.
I'm a member of EO, President of Vistage in Spain and teach at IESE Business School. Shout out if you've been there or done that ;-)


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I have been teaching Persuasive Communications on MBA courses at IESE Business School for 10 years. This is part of a collection of short lessons compiled from my courses and shared for use both as a support to my classes, and a way of sharing this valuable knowledge to a wider audience via these awesome digital tools ;-)

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All Comments (21)
  • @Yiseia
    Holly molly! I don't care about business or sales or making speeches, but the way he talks is so bloody captivating, I ended up watching more of the videos!! lol
    AND in addition I learn a lot from them too, which I think will be a great help to me when I go for job interviews in future. It even helps with my poetry when I make audio versions of it! Fascinating stuff!
  • @swoldiernation
    Some one needs to tell him that stat about more people being alive today than all the combined death is totally false.
  • @johnbockmann
    Three ways to start a speech (summary):
    3) With a question that matters to the audience. Phrase a problem that the audience faces.
    2) A fact that shocks: i.e. there are more people alive today than have ever died. Every 2 minutes, the energy reaching the earth from the sun is equal to all the energy used by all its people in one year
    1) The same way we start a story to a child: "Once upon a time..." Makes us lean forward, makes us ready to hear. All trained as kids to know when a story's coming.
    - assume self interest; tell a story from your own life about something you find meaningful
    - don't talk about the software; talk about the people who make the software
    - they need to trust you before they decide to act
  • @anonymous3472
    The actual best way to start a speech: "This is going to be quick"
  • @Brian-bm7ew
    I have taken both speech and communications classes and not once was starting a speech covered. Thank you Conor! This changes everything.
  • @JamesCAsphalt8
    As a professional trainer and speaker, I can say that this is the best video on starting a speech I have ever seen. Conor Neill is dynamic in his delivery. He compels us to rethink how we begin a speech, to effectively engage an audience from the first moment.
  • @truth.speaker
    You know a video is old when it talks about using a Blackberry
  • @alloutcoach
    Awesome advice - telling stories takes presentations to the next level! There are some other interesting tips I have also heard of from other coaches and leaders that I would love you to comment on: 1) start with a silent pause prior to uttering your first word to build up anticipation and attention after taking a deep breath and "landing" in your starting stance first; 2) jump into your story or first idea - do not introduce yourself or display gratitude for being invited to speak; 3) end with the same energy you start with.
  • @FestusEs
    I watched this video like three (3) years ago when I started exploring how to take on my career in speaking and I'm glad to come back to it and still find it so vital. ❤
  • @augburto
    Phenomenal speaker -- I hope people pay attention to how he uses pauses and how he builds anticipation. Very well crafted speech.
  • @farshimelt
    In my high school speech class, we were told to tell the audience what we were going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. That way it sinks in and will be memorable. I did that and won the speech competition. In sales it was called features and benefits. This is what it does and this is how you benefit from what it does. That and you have 2 ears and 1 mouth; listen twice as much as you talk. Good advice for your life.
  • @almoktafi
    1. Start with A Question.
    2. Start with a relevant story.
    3. Start with curious & bizarre fact.
  • @Sava12242
    This is phenomenal! I feel teachers of all grade levels and subjects should study public speaking. We have about 10 seconds to engage students of any age. One swing and a miss and we can lose them . It is then extremely difficult if not impossible to get them back!
  • @EvA-oz8jf
    Seems simple yet we forget that presentations are stories that get your point across to a group of different personalities with varying opinions and views. I enjoy the fact that Conor Neil reaffirms this information in an engaging manner.
  • @patroklillo
    It was a privilege to have Conor as a Corporate Communications professor at IESE, so much value added advice in every lecture!
  • @elwinchandra160
    Conor I tried your method in my presentation for a grant recently. And it worked! Thank you very much for helping me! I was really grateful to you and your talk !
  • @pro369
    A real masterpiece talk. I am an English teacher, I ve learned a lot from you sir, I ve grown with many of your lectures. Fantastic
  • @abbab2038
    Normally when I start a speech at a gathering I start by recognizing the previous speaker and then make him feel great by saying, " I'd like to start by saying a big thank you to Nelson for that brilliant presentation, my colleague Nelson, has mentioned so many vital points and I'm going to add to what he's already said..."