Don’t spend opening seconds “thanking” the group for the opportunity, or talk about what a beautiful facility you are speaking in, or what a marvelous day it is. Choose opening words that make the audience want to listen.
Try beginning with a sentence that would make the audience think.
Beginning with motivating words as opening lines can make the audience to listen. “Be Present When You Are Present” or begin with “The greatest single secret to success is paying attention.”
Another speech delivered often is “High Bid.” The opening words are the auctioneer’s chant as comparing “life is like an auction. We sell ourselves by what we say and how we say it.”
Refresh by using applause for the audience. After you have been speaking for quiet a few minutes and the audience is really listening to you, you might say, “I really appreciate your careful attention and the way you have received me. Your reactions energize me as I speak.”
Never waste the words while speaking, especially while making the opening word.
Always remember, a strong push in the beginning helps build a momentum to stay till the end. Make a nice impressive start.
All the best!