Do you enjoy hearing a speech start with “Today I’m going to talk to you about X”? Most of us don’t. Instead, use a startling statistic, an interesting anecdote, a concise quotation or even a prop! The use of a prop may feel odd in a business setting but if you’re holding a physical object as a metaphor, something that people don’t understand, it will help to get people’s attention. You have around 10 seconds to capture their attention and captivate them before they tune out. You also have around one minute to get audience interaction so getting them to raise a show of hands is a great way to get them to engage, interact and listen to what you are about to say. The ending is as important, it is what your audience will remember so conclude your speech with a summary, combined with and a strong closing statement.