Give an effective speech by understanding the importance of the opening and closing

27-Mar / 0 COMMENTS

There’s a memory effect called “primacy and recency.” Essentially, the human brain remembers best what it hears first and last—the stuff in the middle is forgotten at a much higher rate. It’s why the opening statements and closing arguments in court cases are so important—the best trial lawyers rehearse them indefinitely because they know they are crucial moments in the jurors’ minds.

When it comes to giving a speech, worry the most about your opening and your closing. Use those precious moments in time to state your main point, your theme, and your call to action. Don’t waste them by droning on with endless “thank-yous” or on minor issues.

One technique is to take your speech, delete the body, and just read the opening and closing. Then ask yourself, “If that was all my audience heard, would they know my main point, my theme, and my call to action?” If you can answer “Yes,” then your opening and closing are in a great place. If not, rework them so that they are the most important parts of your speech.



Get my speech writing and audience survey to help you plan out your next speech. It's the same survey I use with all of my clients. You'll also receive daily public speaking tips!

Eddie Rice

Eddie Rice

Eddie is a speechwriter and public speaking coach. His clients include CEOs, college presidents, business owners, and government officials. Email him: eddie@customspeechwriting.com
Eddie Rice

Also published on Medium.

%d bloggers like this: