Speech introductions give your speech a clear statement of purpose.
Before you write your speech, you need to define your purpose clearly.
Is it to inform the audience about a topic, an idea or a new development?
Do you want to persuade the audience with your words of wisdom?
Do you want to entertain and amuse them?
Do you want to do all of these things?
Having a specific purpose will prevent aimless meandering through the material you want to present.
To define your speech, know the nature of the audience you will be addressing.
What are their interests and views? How knowledgeable are they about the topic?
Analyze the composition of the audience in terms of gender, age, education levels and social backgrounds - gear you speech specifically towards your audience!
Your introduction sets the tone - give them the "wow" factor!
WHAT SHOULD AN INTRODUCTION DO?
Present the topic succinctly.
Establish rapport, with the audience.
Motivate the audience to listen.
Make a confident first impression.
Personalize the speech with an anecdote from your life - where appropriate.
Provide a smooth transition into the body of the speech.
Make a surprising or thought provoking statement or do something unusual that acts as a suitable springboard into your speech.
Use a visual, graphic or audio-aid to illustrate the important aspects of your speech introduction.
Quote a famous person or expert in the field. [Remember - quotes should be relevant and should not be over-used].
Tell an appropriate anecdote, a humorous story or a relevant joke. [Inappropriate humor can backfire and turn the audience against you].
Use gestures and body language that are consistent with the purpose of your speech - avoid gimmicks however.
Minimize the barrier between yourself and the audience by stepping into the audience or involving the audience in a practical activity - where appropriate.
Introductions are followed by the body of your speech.
Three to five main points should be supported and expanded into sub-points.
End off with a convincing conclusion and you've just written a great speech.