How to Start a Speech

  • Published on Mar 12, 2012
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    I have been teaching Persuasive Communications on MBA courses at IESE Business School for 10 years. This is part of a collection of short lessons compiled from my courses and shared for use both as a support to my classes, and a way of sharing this valuable knowledge to a wider audience via these awesome digital tools ;-)
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    Subscribe to receive new videos in your feed: What are the first words of a speech? What should be the first sentence of a speech? How can you engage an audience from the first moment? There are 3 ways to start a speech.

Comments • 3 371

  • Success Network
    Success Network Year ago +633

    Really love the advice in this video!

    • titlewave
      titlewave 10 days ago

      *"i like the video of the guy and the speaking..."*

    • Bill Yates
      Bill Yates Month ago

      Another crucial point is to get your facts right. He said there are more people alive today than have ever lived. In fact, "we are nowhere near close to having more alive than dead. In fact, there are 15 dead people for every person living. We surpassed seven billion dead way back between 8000BC and AD1." Ooops!!

    • Hilton Jacobs
      Hilton Jacobs 2 months ago

      @Ford St Clair Conor didn't deserve the time you spent on your comment. The next time a speaker looks like a dlckhead the way Conor does, I'm just gonna pass. I came to *loathe* Conor for wasting my time with his bullshlt.

    • Hilton Jacobs
      Hilton Jacobs 2 months ago

      BOOOOOOOOO. What a waste of time. Now I've got to wash my ears of this jerk's voice.

    • amir moradnejad
      amir moradnejad 3 months ago

  • Dizzy Blu
    Dizzy Blu Hour ago

    Agent Phil Coulson is that you?

  • Cahayacenel
    Cahayacenel 3 hours ago

    Good Conor Neill

  • Dagwould
    Dagwould 15 hours ago

    I start a speech by: checking the venue, checking any slides I have, doing a sound check (before the audience comes in), chatting with the AV operator to make sure we are in synch and he/she knows my lead in. One talk I went to had the national president of an industry group talking to a bunch of politicians. Her opening? [looks at slide on screen, rather than audience] "these slides are the wrong ones..." You can see where that speech went!

  • Smallstudio Design
    Smallstudio Design 19 hours ago

    Interesting provocation + debate generated over his example of how to introduce a speech with , he says --> "... more people are alive today than have ever died."
    || He didn't actually say that was an indisputable fact at all. He suggested offering a "... factoid that shocks".
    Q. Do the dead outnumber the living? + how do you calculate how many have ever lived, and where do you start?
    --> "According to the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, DC, the normal starting point is when Homo sapiens first walked the earth, about 50,000 years ago."
    [rather than going back to hundreds of thousands of years) -- based upon this timeline - it may seem completely plausible.
    "So what are the figures? There are currently seven billion people alive today and the Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 107 billion people have ever lived.
    This means that we are nowhere near close to having more alive than dead. In fact, there are 15 dead people for every person living. We surpassed seven billion dead way back between 8000BC and AD1." -- source: article: "Do the dead outnumber the living?"By Wesley Stephenson. BBC News || LINK:
    For the purposes of his lecture on how to begin a speech - I'm not entirely sure he meant for this "factoid" to be a hard fact -- so much as provocation + attention grabber, to get audience aroused and thinking. It certainly got everyone commenting here busy didn't it?

  • Lubanzi Money
    Lubanzi Money 22 hours ago

    Subscribe and get paid @UCFIv3wJeJip47UyH4JT_U8w

  • Mark Lynch
    Mark Lynch Day ago

    I'm speechless

  • Zen = Yen 🔴
    Zen = Yen 🔴 Day ago

    Friends, TVcliprs and Earthlings,
    *Lend Me Your EARS*

  • Sirajudheen Ch
    Sirajudheen Ch Day ago

    I have a question 'how to start a speech ?'

  • Ray Bendon
    Ray Bendon Day ago

    Seriously so boring....

  • Thomas Doherty
    Thomas Doherty 2 days ago

    what Conor didn't tell you is that he kissed the "Blarney stone" maybe you want to google that and he is also a good Irish fisherman because he got us all on his hook!

  • Lalitha Kasturi Rangan

    Give an example of a speech it would be more useful.

  • Master Puji
    Master Puji 2 days ago

    Who else has a speech due tomorrow?

  • Smug Smugly
    Smug Smugly 2 days ago

    Well did you envision an ass whoopin?

  • Supaa8 #
    Supaa8 # 3 days ago

    Best advice: Be genuine and speak from the heart
    Those are the speeches that are the most famously stout

    • Smug Smugly
      Smug Smugly 2 days ago

      Well did you envision an ass whoopin?

  • George Young
    George Young 3 days ago

    How to not look like you're picking your nose when giving a speech.

  • m32797m
    m32797m 3 days ago +1

    I have no clue how did I watch-listen ALMOST to the end. What did I learn? Absolutely NOTHING

  • Huw Sayer
    Huw Sayer 4 days ago +3

    Nice talk - but you are wrong about the population claim. Best estimate is that since 50,000BC around 110bn people have been born (many did not make it past childhood) - that includes the current 9bn people on the planet - so for every person alive, there are 10 ghosts standing behind them.

    • Alvin Mwangi
      Alvin Mwangi 2 days ago

      That nice of you to correct him but I think you missed the premise of the video

    • REC Film School
      REC Film School 2 days ago

      he said the facts were false if you listen closely

    ICON SERVICES 4 days ago

    stop touching your nose please

  • Naveed Times
    Naveed Times 4 days ago

    for MBA people

  • news channel pak
    news channel pak 4 days ago

  • Paul Wave
    Paul Wave 5 days ago

    100.8 billion died, 7.53 billion alive today.

  • business start
    business start 5 days ago

    Thanks for the video ! I am Just Get it here easy,edit and print @t ..more detail here :@t

  • Earl Keen
    Earl Keen 5 days ago +6

    It is also important to get your facts straight. You're wrong when you say there are more people alive today than have ever died. Mathematically impossible.

  • The man
    The man 5 days ago +5

    No dis-pis-pect, but how has this video got 10M+ views. I'm perplexed!

  • Bobitha999
    Bobitha999 5 days ago

    Why do you say more people alive than dead? That is not true and you make such a point to say it is true? Why? You really believe that? I think not....... I think you hate the human race. I think you hate children. Prove me wrong.

  • Chentel Leresche
    Chentel Leresche 5 days ago +3

    How to start a speech first off just be yourself do not try to be someone you are not , people listen to you if you can be yourself and feel comfortable being who you are .
    I can start a conversation no problem and make people feel comfortable staying and listening to what I have to say .
    I can make people feel good and make them laugh and it is all by being myself and that gets peoples attention .

  • Dumbass Dummy Vote
    Dumbass Dummy Vote 5 days ago

    wish i could speak in public

  • Erick Juma
    Erick Juma 6 days ago +2

    Great way to learn speak speech is to listen to president Obama's speeches.

  • jj jj
    jj jj 6 days ago +2

    Telling stories is overdone in today's politics. Just listen to the last Democratic debate, everyone had a sob story to say

  • Erik Christensen
    Erik Christensen 6 days ago

    Sorry, "fact" #1 is not true. Good speech otherwise.

  • ThaMan
    ThaMan 6 days ago

    "Erace Uneveh" is that Gaelic? Because it is strangely Latin sounding and it hit my ear and I understood it. My first language was Portuguese (a latin language). It literally means "It happened one time".

    • ThaMan
      ThaMan 5 days ago

      @Conor Neill ah. You didnt say vez, you said veh.

    • Conor Neill
      Conor Neill  5 days ago

      Erase una vez - Spanish ;-)))

  • Martin Champel
    Martin Champel 7 days ago

    More than 100 billions people already died.

  • troll center
    troll center 7 days ago +1 ...censored channel

  • rockin roy
    rockin roy 7 days ago

    excellent philosophy.

  • Bilal Rajab
    Bilal Rajab 7 days ago

    Nicely done! Thank you sir!

  • Dean P
    Dean P 7 days ago +4

    Interesting, except by half way thru I was beginning to wonder how many times he touched his nose!

  • philhersh
    philhersh 7 days ago

    Your very first statement may be mistaken. Hopefully one's presentation will be seen on youtube or elsewhere by others. Nothing wrong with "Slating" your presentation with your name.

  • Kane Tse
    Kane Tse 7 days ago

    I fell asleep watching this.

  • Oscar Onyango
    Oscar Onyango 7 days ago +1

    It's nearly the end and still waiting..

  • Bradley Frank
    Bradley Frank 8 days ago +1

    Could I start out my speech with "alternative facts"?

    TEDDY GANEA 8 days ago +3

    The first fact is false, the second fact is true.

      TEDDY GANEA 7 days ago

      Very true

    • Damian Sowerbutts
      Damian Sowerbutts 7 days ago

      Regardless of the verisimilitude of his facts, he's evoked interest enough in his speech for you to respond :)

  • ed
    ed 8 days ago +1

    Very boring and fragmented speech. Sir you need to learn how to make a useful and coherent speech.😀

    • Erick Juma
      Erick Juma 6 days ago

      THEN CAN you MAKE YOURS!!!!

  • mysticanimationscience com

    First Word: Hello My lovelies, Last Word: Thank you, pause, head down for applause, raise and wave goodbye to the cheers

    • Dagwould
      Dagwould 15 hours ago

      Why do you end with 'thank you'. Thanking for what? Better ending: a compelling summary sentence.

  • # dragon
    # dragon 8 days ago

    Whats a Blackberry?

  • christian gibson
    christian gibson 9 days ago

    OMG... Conor Neill, your picture has an uncanny resemblance to the corrupt US labor secretary (Acosta) who has resigned after his secret deal with paedophile friend of Trump (Epstein).

  • Phil Smith
    Phil Smith 9 days ago +3

    I can't take my eyes off his ears

  • Robert Carranza
    Robert Carranza 9 days ago

    HOW to start a speech and be completely boring! Yes you have captured it;-)

    • CeeCee Nunya
      CeeCee Nunya 9 days ago

      Nah. It was only 8 minutes and 46 seconds long, buddy. That was long enough for you to go to the kitchen, make a sandwich AND still take a shit. Short attention span, much?

  • S L
    S L 9 days ago +1

    I find these people pretty pathetic. All trying to learn how to speak to people. How about by being real and not trying to be tactical with the way you talk to people...

    • EMP C
      EMP C 7 days ago

      The only pathetic thing here is your attitude. Everything you know you’ve learned.

  • Jason Phillips
    Jason Phillips 9 days ago

    What the hell is a blackberry?

  • Paigon Davis - Natasha Lane Design Co.

    Learned so much, and never pulled out my phone!

  • Ol' Ben
    Ol' Ben 10 days ago

    Shouldn’t the factoid be relevant to the subject matter of the speech?

    DR MUSIC CENTER Nepal 10 days ago

    very nice

  • demonhead鬼
    demonhead鬼 10 days ago

    Who is this guy supposed to be, and why should I listen to him?

    • EMP C
      EMP C 7 days ago

      Who are you? Why should he give you a free video to improve yourself?

  • isaac hinojosa
    isaac hinojosa 10 days ago

    Hope this guy doesn't quit his day job

  • Sanjay Rajan Shrestha
    Sanjay Rajan Shrestha 10 days ago

  • Richard Davis
    Richard Davis 11 days ago

    U.N. predicts the world population will stabilize at 10 billion inhabitants sometime after 2200. At this rate, the living will never outnumber the dead, so this is not a true fact! a blackberry moment caused by incorrect information and losing half an audience to fact checking, and them learning the fact is actually not a fact.

  • Inclusive Music
    Inclusive Music 11 days ago

    Thank you

  • Antonio Martinez
    Antonio Martinez 11 days ago

    trump is a mother fucker....

  • រឿង ថ្មីៗ


  • Antonio Martinez
    Antonio Martinez 13 days ago

    Mother fucker and mother fuckers ...

  • Dream 2 Ceylone
    Dream 2 Ceylone 13 days ago

    Great advice highly appreciated

  • Zac Slade
    Zac Slade 13 days ago

    But what did that guy say to him last October??

  • Humais Shahid
    Humais Shahid 13 days ago


  • Hubert Bao
    Hubert Bao 14 days ago +1

    You can tell he is a good talker from him never using ehhs and ahhs but instead, he can hold the urge of it and create pauses instead.

  • Empowermentor R. L. Kemp


  • Ordain more like Dislike dain

    AT lesat some one is there to catch and send to custody if something goes wrong

  • Ordain more like Dislike dain

    i dont have confident on this customer chain business

  • twice tofu
    twice tofu 16 days ago

    *how did i end up here*

  • Brian Cycles
    Brian Cycles 16 days ago +1

    It would be great if I didn't have to skip to the middle of the video to get to the point.

  • Carl deC
    Carl deC 16 days ago

    it's nonsense that more people are alive today than have ever lived... there have likely been hundreds of billions of people born onto this planet since our type of hominids transformed into homosapien /neanderthal people. He is a great speaker though.

  • EMG
    EMG 16 days ago

    As Head Dean of students and Union Chapter leader, I was asked to address an audience of parents, colleagues, administration, and Board of Ed officials after 9/11. (So, have I piqued your curiosity? Do you want to read more?) I had no prepared remarks; it would be totally off the top of my head. So, how to start my speech? and how to close the speech? I knew my speech had to be short and sweet. Well, I started by thanking the parents for attending the meeting, thus assuring them that they were important. I praised the staff for their efforts during the 9/11 crisis -- never making it about me. I closed with a simple observation, one with which the parents could relate, because they had the most invested in the school. I said, "I am proud to tell you that not one child from our school was hurt on that horrific day. Thank you." This was not a feigned remark, but something the parents wanted to hear. Surprisingly to me, it resulted in a standing ovation. Go figure.

    • EMG
      EMG 14 days ago

      @Conor Neill So, true, especially if the words that are spoken heartfelt.

    • EMG
      EMG 14 days ago

      Thank you for your sentiment. I was amazed by the reception of my impromptu speech. Given confidence, I believe, one can deliver a speech without dread. Our school, our staff, and, most importantly, our students were in the thick of things, especially when the South Tower came down with debris rumbling towards us only a few short blocks away. Thanks to Army training I kept my cool!

    • Conor Neill
      Conor Neill  15 days ago +1

      The best Speaking is a true gift to the audience

  • Titanium Tosh
    Titanium Tosh 16 days ago


  • Abbos Utkirov
    Abbos Utkirov 17 days ago

    Vote for Business Glossary :

  • Gore din Chitila
    Gore din Chitila 17 days ago

    Delicious spech ! You got my attention, but ......No ketchup, no spice , no pizza flavour ? Hungrrry Huuuuunnngryyyyyy

  • Ben Tabac
    Ben Tabac 17 days ago

    Fuck you TVclip.

  • Karen M
    Karen M 17 days ago +9

    Great presentation and advice. But leave your nose alone!

    • enotdetcelfer
      enotdetcelfer 13 days ago

      You know that's an interesting *muffle muffle* have there. If i didn't know better I'd *muffle muffle* would be *muffle* number one for clear speaking and momentum!

  • David Stainley
    David Stainley 18 days ago +1

    This is a wonderful way of adult speech giving. It's good.

  • Edbutt
    Edbutt 18 days ago

    my blackberry is out of date !!

    • Janos K
      Janos K 17 days ago

      Edbutt I never got one at all!

  • Kristian Bowbrick
    Kristian Bowbrick 18 days ago +12

    As a scientist and a scholar, if you open a speech with "there's more people alive today than have died" you are "giving me a signal that it's a time to get my Android out" to verify that "fact".
    If, like with this statement I find it to be incorrect and you are trying to sell me something, I will NEVER buy from you! You have shown me that you are at best ill informed and at worst a liar! Either way I cannot trust you and I don't buy from people I can't trust EVER.
    If you are trying to teach me something I will switch off because you have shown me you are ill informed. I can't trust your opening fact so why should I trust the rest of your speech.
    I agree that opening with a factoid is a good way to start a speech, just make sure that it is true and verifiable.
    BBC News - Do the dead outnumber the living?

    • crazy doge
      crazy doge 10 days ago

      @roger edwards Lol. Connor was just using a bloody example of how to start a speech, not a bnloody information report.

    • roger edwards
      roger edwards 11 days ago

      You just used a bunch of words to make a petty, unremarkable and obvious point. I'd say that as a scientist and scholar you have absolutely no intuitive intelligence

    • Thomas Pryce
      Thomas Pryce 12 days ago

      This comment, 100% agree.

  • Shivam Singh
    Shivam Singh 18 days ago

    Main speech starts from 3.20

  • Patience Curtis
    Patience Curtis 18 days ago

    ! Di

  • comes poco
    comes poco 18 days ago

    queria preguntarte si las 184 veces que tocas tu nariz entra en el tema o esta fuera de el --gracias

  • Aubrey Hawes
    Aubrey Hawes 19 days ago +1

    Great inspirational video about how to use adversity to your advantage. Thanks for sharing Jason.

  • Avicennite GH
    Avicennite GH 19 days ago +1

    Connor, you're clear and engaging & that Irish accent together sailed the information into my mind, thank you

  • Andy Jewson
    Andy Jewson 20 days ago

    Blackberry, grandad . . . this dated badly !

  • Kunal Singh
    Kunal Singh 20 days ago +7

    He said Blackberry and I immediately checked the date on this video. 2012. Okay, the universe makes sense again.

    • D Knight
      D Knight 18 days ago

      He clearly didnt possess the skill of seeing into the future. Android and iPhone killed the BlackBerry. Though I feel like in 2012, I could see that coming

  • Ritik sachan
    Ritik sachan 20 days ago +1

    I am from India thankyou to learn us

  • Issam Mohanna
    Issam Mohanna 20 days ago +7

    That speaker-Conor Neill- is surely an honest great man.

  • bobby dias
    bobby dias 20 days ago +7

    Trump starts a speech with a threat and ends the speech with a threat.

  • Meme Gazer
    Meme Gazer 20 days ago

    welp 5 seconds in and I am bored...later

  • Freecheese
    Freecheese 20 days ago

    This has so many views! No doubt people want to learn more about public speaking. He could make it more succinct by telling the audience a story they can connect with along with your own. His speech was difficult to watch and uninspiring. He clearly assumes the audience wants to hear. Sorry, but I did not find it even to be a fair speech and have heard better in class, totally honest.

  • Elke Sundermann
    Elke Sundermann 20 days ago

    And here we are again. Same curriculum I'm writing, this time it's a lesson on how to learn out loud (present their learning experiences to others). Would you allow me to use some of this video for the 4th-12th grade curriculum I'm creating? :)

  • Drayton Bird
    Drayton Bird 20 days ago

    How is it possible to be that pleased with oneself?

  • MrStevieburchill
    MrStevieburchill 21 day ago

    I am glad that I don't have to attend this kind of conference and I am glad that I don't have to listen to people talk about sales projections for corporate world of scaffolding units in West Yorkshire. If I did I would begin my speech by immolating myself in an attempt to condense the presentation into the most entertaining subset of appropriate meaningful data to maintain the concentration of what would be a hyper focused audience.

  • James Tembula
    James Tembula 21 day ago

    You got me Neill. I love it

  • Bakya N
    Bakya N 21 day ago

    thanks for the video i like it very much and i learned the english speech very well from this vedio thanks for the vedio

  • 様David
    様David 21 day ago +1

    Well, I have a speech today on a school’s opening ceremony and it's not in my own language, I’ll be speaking in English to the people who hardly know English.

  • rajeev srivatsav
    rajeev srivatsav 21 day ago

    MJ innocent

  • D U V A G E
    D U V A G E 21 day ago