There are several effective ways of opening a speech, which include opening with an interesting quote that suits the topic of your presentation or opening with a "what if" or "imagine if" scenario that immediately gets the audience thinking and participating in the speech. Lastly, a speaker can open with a rhetorical or a literal question. These four ways of opening a speech are intended to engage the audiences' attention.
The focus of an opening remark is to get the audience to look forward to what is coming next at the occasion by uniting them behind the common objective of the event. Executive coach, Jill Bremer advises
that the "best way to start a speech is to jump right in to the topic and say something that grabs the audience’s attention, something compelling, humorous, shocking, or imaginative." The tone a speaker uses in the opening remarks largely depends on the audience and the goal of the event, which determines whether the speaker uses formal or informal language and whether the event is a serious event or a fun event. Opening remarks need to acknowledge all of the important guests at the event, welcome all other guests and introduce their host. Next, a brief introduction should be made regarding the occasion. A speaker should also introduce the next speaker at the event if necessary and conclude his remarks on a high note so that the audience is left eagerly awaiting what is to come.