How to Write Opening & Closing Remarks of a Speech
When writing a speech the introduction and the ending are just as important as the body of your speech. The first 30 seconds of your speech must grab your audience immediately. Your ending should be strong and powerful and leave your audience with something to remember, whether it be a thought, idea or feeling.
Define your audience for the speech to, what is the topic and focus and how long does it need to be. Make a outline of your ideas for the speech. Be specific and clear about each point that you wish to speak about. Identify what the theme and purpose is.
Create a statement that captures your audience's interest immediately. Make it dramatic or humorous, depending on the type of talk you are giving. The opening statement should capture your audience's attention or "hook" them. For example, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech captured the audience by stating the date, along with the dramatic words, "a date which will live in infamy."
Go back to your main ideas and review what result you wish to have by the end of your speech. Determine how you want the audience to feel in the beginning, middle and end of the speech. A good example is famous baseball player Lou Gehrig's farewell speech. He closes his speech by referencing his bad break, but that he still has a lot to live for, which offered encouragement to him and to his fans.
Begin writing your ending by identifying the call to action that should close your speech. You may have to go back to your purpose to figure this out. Your closing depends on whether you want to motivate or inspire your audience, persuade them to your point of view or to honor or celebrate a person or event. John F. Kennedy's inaugural address is a good example of a motivating conclusion. Kennedy closed his speech by reminding the American people to "go forth to lead the land we love..."
Summarize the main points of your speech and provide some further food for thought for your listeners. Leave your audience with positive memories of your speech. End with a final thought or emotion, which can take the form of an inspiring quote, personal anecdote or call-back to an earlier point in the speech.
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