Greeting a crowd is different from greeting one person. Because greeting and speaking to a crowd can be overwhelming, it is imperative to practice greeting crowds as much as possible. Knowing some of the ways you can introduce yourself to your crowd will diversify your public speaking skills and establish a good rapport with your audience.
One way to greet a crowd and captivate its attention is to begin your speech with an anecdote. If you want to lighten the mood and take some of the pressure off of speaking in front of a large crowd, tell an amusing story about a funny occurrence that relates in some way to the subject of your speech. If you want to inspire the crowd, tell them an instructional narrative that relates to the main themes of your speech.
Use a famous or appropriate quotation to begin your greeting. When using quotations, be sure to use a quotation from a credible source. It will bolster your main points by helping to convince your audience that you are worth listening to. Make sure that you reference the source of your quote before leading into the main content of your speech.
Play music in the background to spice up your entrance. Music helps bring people together towards a common goal, and using it for your entrance will help evoke emotion and excitement from the crowd. Be sure you use music that is fitting for your speech insofar as it highlights the themes of your speech. When you initially greet the crowd, let the music play for 10 to 20 seconds as you make your first contact with the crowd.
Using handshakes to greet a crowd adds a personal touch to your speech, if your entrance route enables that. Even if the crowd is large, making an attempt to shake hands with the crowd will display sincerity and warmth. If the crowd is indeed large, shake hands with those in the front row or along the aisles. If the crowd is less than 50 people, you should make an attempt to shake hands with everybody in the crowd.