When you are preparing to deliver a speech what are your goals? Do you focus on choosing a topic that will grab your audience attention, or do you focus on choosing an opening that is strong enough to open or close? I often go with the latter and have had my best results when I choose an opening to close. Let me explain.
While your topic selection should always be an attention grabber, your opening and closing more often than not will determine if you are able to connect and hold the attention of your audience from beginning to the end of your speech. Whether you decide to write out your speech or use bullet points, your opening and closing should be so well rehearsed and internalized, you should be able to spontaneously deliver both at will to open or close your speech. Your opening and closing should also have an intimate relationship with each other. Your closing can be a call to action or callback to your key points. Whatever you decide, your closing should relate in some way to your opening. It is for that reason I recommend that you close to open or open to close. Give it a try.
When you prepare for your next speech, write out your ending first. Condense that ending into a single sentence to make that sentence your opening statement. That statement should short and profound. Give it a try and if it doesn’t work for you the first time, this one is not water under the bridge. Like the bridge above, with each try at a new opening, you too will discover new ways of opening to close.