"...And What NOT To Do."           

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         If you don't like any of the introductions described on the previous page, don't sweat it; they're not for everyone, and certainly not for every speech.  However, I would be remiss if I didn't keep you from succumbing to the oh-so-trite "conventional" intros which too often are the easy route for lazy speechwriters.  There are several such intros to avoid besides the opening joke one-liner previously discussed... but let me hit that one again:  don't open with a lame, half-assed, lowest-common-denominator punchline!  Good.  Now here are the others to avoid at all costs:

        The Opening Quote - It's a standard these days:  people think they can start a speech smoothly (while simultaneously making themselves look educated) by quoting some old/distinguished/famous person on the subject.  Sorry, but unless it's a really good quote with amazing following material, it's just going to bury you even deeper.  Think about it - when was the last time you were captivated by a speech that opened with "I believe it was John Q. Someguy who once said..."

        A Story about Writing the Speech - This is the crutch of those who are really uncomfortable with public performances.  The whole "last night I was thinking about what to say to you on the subject of ____, when..." just doesn't cut it in most cases.  On the other hand, if something truly extraordinary and spellbindingly interesting did happen to you while in the process of speechwriting... well, be my guest!

        The Dictionary Definition - Never never never, ever ever ever.  In fact, if a quote from Webster's occurs anywhere in your speech (unless there are some remarkable extenuating circumstances), you need to rethink it.  The answer is no.  


Okay, got your intro figured out?  Let's move on to your Content...