Some examples of "attention getters" in speeches include direct questions, such as asking the audience whether they eat meat or how they would feel if their rights were taken away, or anecdotes about a travel experience or what it's like to work in politics. The purpose of an attention getter is to seize the audience's interest and attention from the very beginning of a speech, as well as to set the tone for what will come next.
An attention getter should also serve to break the ice, in effect, between the audience and the speaker. The use of personal anecdotes, such as the tale of a funny experience or a family Christmas dinner, is particularly effective toward this end.
It is important that anecdotes are relevant to the speech, however. Like any attention getter, they should also be brief and simple so that as much time as possible is allowed for the speech thesis and also so that the audience do not lose interest or comprehension.
Another effective way to get the audience's attention during the opening of a speech is to draw a connection between a common idea or experience and the speech's thesis. If the speech is about a specialized area of buying and selling, for example, the attention getter might introduce the subject in relation to the buying and selling of something more general, such as real estate.