PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Guest speakers will often put expressions of gratitude for the opportunity to speak and compliments about the host group at the beginning of their speech.

Let me begin by saying how honored and grateful I am for this opportunity to speak at your annual awards dinner.  I have always been impressed by the work of the XYZ Foundation.  The programs you sponsor have given hundreds of families new hope.  Most notably…

I once heard a speechwriter say that putting these comments at the beginning of a speech is the best placement because they give the audience a chance to settle in before the meat of the talk begins.

Although this reasoning makes sense, Winston Churchill believed that such placement was not a good idea.  As he saw it, audience members consider such beginning comments as perfunctory, and, therefore, not particularly sincere.

Churchill recommended that speakers wait until later in the speech when they can be inserted as an aside.  Speaking of great accomplishments, let me take a moment to say a few words about the extraordinary work of this Foundation.

Churchill reasoned that such an aside would be perceived as more sincere because it was not the typical and expected thing to do.

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