Exercise: How to Start a Speech

How to Start a Speech

How to start a speech.  How do these five speakers capture your attention and engage you at the beginning of their talks?

Watch the first minute of each speaker.

How did they begin?  What was the first word?  What did this achieve?  Which speaker is hardest to stop watching after 60 seconds?

…and the challenge…  stop watching each after 1 minute…  it is too easy to get hooked and end up spending your next 90 minutes watching these 5 speeches…  Save that for later 😉


The five speakers

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age. His newest interest: the tribes we lead.

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Jeff Bezos


As founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos defined online shopping and rewrote the rules of commerce, ushering in a new era in business. Time magazine named him Man of the Year in 1999.

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Steve Jobs

As CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs spearheaded a few of the most iconic products in technology, entertainment and design.

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JJ Abrams

Writer, director and producer J.J. Abrams makes smart, addictive dramas like TV’s Lost, and films like Cloverfield and the new Star Trek.

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Elizabeth Gilbert

The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some large topics. Her next fascination: genius, and how we ruin it.

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What other great speeches are you going to look at? Do you pay attention to how great speeches start?

Author: Conor Neill

Hi, I’m Conor Neill, an Entrepreneur and Teacher at IESE Business School. I speak about Moving People to Action.

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