When beginning a speech with humor, good introductions CanUWrite.com recommends that speakers include phrases such as "The best speech is one that has a great beginning, a memorable end and not much in between." Speakers can try and prompt a laugh from the audience by saying "They say it's best to leave your audience before your audience leaves you."
Good introductions within a speech can also draw laughter when speakers poke fun at themselves with phrases such as "Being a good speaker is the art of saying nothing briefly," or "The definition of an after-dinner speaker is someone who has been asked to say a few words and says too many."
Poking fun at the audience may also work well for a good introduction. For example, a speaker may say "My friends: I know you too well to call you ladies and gentlemen," or "Please go ahead and keep eating; I'd rather be eating cake, too, than listening to some boring speech" to lighten the mood. Additional introductions may include a fun fact that is humorous, such as "Socrates was a wise, Greek philosopher who walked around giving advice to people - they poisoned him." CanUWrite.com suggest that the opening remarks will keep the audience engaged for the duration of the speech.