Your opening is the gateway into another person’s mind. It sets the tempo and direction for everything that follows. It needs to be engaging and it has to be clear and concise. Your audience is wasting no time in making a decision whether they are willing to pay attention or not.
Would a question start the audience thinking? Should a rhetorical question or one requiring an answer be used? Do you want a non verbal response like a show of hands or would some other type of response work better? Would a quote or provocative statement work better for you?
Your opening is like opening a door and the listener is walking through the door and they are creating their own mental images, creating their own landscape, to allow them to be on the journey with you.
How will you choreograph your opening for maximum impact with your audience? Will you be stationary or moving around during the opening? Will the opening be on a motivational note or will you start low key and build the energy to a climax?
If you do not engage your audience in the beginning, it is most difficult or nearly impossible to ever get them back. Plan and practice the opening so it is strong enough to bring your audience with you throughout your speech.