A confident person standing at a podium, addressing a captivated audience, using great speech opening line.

32 Great Speech Opening Lines: Captivate Your Audience From the First Word

Using great speech opening lines is your greatest opportunity to captivate your audience. It’s the moment you get attention, spark curiosity, and set the tone for a powerful message.

But crafting that opening line can be daunting. Should it be a funny opening? Thought-provoking? Relatable? The answer depends on your audience, topic, and overall goal.

That’s where this guide comes in. We’ve prepared 32 great speech opening lines that you can use for a wide range of situations. Whether you’re a student delivering a presentation or a seasoned speaker addressing a conference, these lines will help you make a great first impression.

We’ll also answer the most common questions people ask about speech openings. So, let’s dive in and discover the power of speech openings!

Thought-Provoking speech Opening lines

  1. Imagine a world where…” (This prompts the audience to envision a scenario related to your topic.)
  2. Have you ever wondered why…” (This sparks curiosity and encourages active listening.)
  3. The most important thing you’ll learn today is…” (This creates anticipation and emphasizes the value of your message.)
  4. The decision we make today will determine…” (This highlights the significance of the issue at hand.)
  5. We are at a crossroads, facing a choice between…” (This frames the speech as a turning point.)
  6. What if I told you that everything you thought you knew about…was wrong?” (This challenges assumptions and piques interest.)
  7. There’s a hidden truth we must uncover…” (This sets up a mystery and builds intrigue.)
  8. We’re here today to challenge the status quo and embrace…” (This establishes a call to action and promotes change.)

Storytelling speech Openers

  1. Let me tell you a story about a time when…” (Stories create emotional connections and are memorable.)
  2. I remember the day I first…” (Personal anecdotes add authenticity and relatability.)
  3. Years ago, I met a person who changed my perspective on…” (This introduces a character and sets the stage for a transformative narrative.)
  4. Picture this: …” (This paints a vivid image and transports the audience into the heart of your story.)
  5. The year was… and I found myself in a situation I never could have imagined.” (This sets the scene for a dramatic or humorous anecdote.)
  6. I never thought I’d be standing here today…” (This creates a sense of overcoming challenges and inspires the audience.)

Humorous speech Opening lines

  1. I was going to tell a joke about [topic], but then I realized it might be too [adjective] for this audience.” (This playful self-awareness can be disarming and endearing.)
  2. Before I begin, I have a confession to make: I’m not as [adjective] as I look.” (This creates anticipation and sets a lighthearted tone.)
  3. I promise to keep this speech shorter than a teenager’s attention span.” (A relatable joke that acknowledges the challenge of holding an audience’s attention.)
  4. If you’re looking for a boring speech, you’ve come to the wrong place.” (This sets an expectation for an engaging presentation.)
  5. I’m not sure why I was invited to speak. I’m about as qualified as a [humorous comparison].” (Self-deprecating humour can be charming and make you more approachable.)
  6. I know what you’re thinking: ‘This person looks just like [famous person].’ Well, you’re half right. We both have [shared characteristic].” (A bit of playful interaction can engage the audience and make them feel involved.)

Using Quotes for speech Opening lines

  1. As [famous person] once said, ‘…’.” (Quotes from well-known figures add credibility and wisdom.)
  2. [Quote]… These words have stayed with me, and today I want to share why they are so relevant to…” (This personalizes the quote and demonstrates its importance.)
  3. In the words of the wise [famous person], ‘…’.” (This adds a touch of humour and reverence.)
  4. [Quote]… This simple yet profound statement captures the essence of what I want to discuss today.” (This connects the quote directly to your topic.)

Question speech Opening lines

  1. What would you do if you had the power to…” (This engages the audience and sparks their imagination.)
  2. Have you ever considered the impact of… on our lives?” (This invites reflection and encourages a deeper understanding of the issue.)
  3. How many of you have ever experienced…?” (This creates a shared experience and fosters a connection with the audience.)
  4. What if the solution to [problem] was simpler than we thought?” (This challenges conventional thinking and offers a new perspective.)

Student-Friendly speech Opening lines

  1. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by…” (This creates a safe space for students to share common experiences.)
  2. As students, we have the power to…” (This empowers students and inspires them to take action.)
  3. Our generation is facing unique challenges, but we also have unique opportunities to…” (This connects with students on a generational level.)
  4. The lessons we learn in school extend far beyond the classroom…” (This emphasizes the practical value of education.)

FAQ about speech openers

Here are the answers to some common questions people ask about great speech opening lines:

  • What is the best opening line for a speech? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but the best opening line will hook your audience, be relevant to your topic, and match the tone you want to set.
  • How do you start a good opening speech? Start by understanding your audience and your goal. Then, choose a line that aligns with both. Consider using humour, a story, a question, or a powerful statement.
  • What is a good starting sentence for a speech? A good starting sentence grabs attention and makes people want to hear more. It could be a surprising fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • What is a good greeting to start a speech? While a simple “Good morning/afternoon/evening” is fine, you can make it more engaging by adding a personalized touch or a bit of humour. For example, “Good evening, fellow bookworms and those who were dragged here by bookworms!”

To create a truly impactful speech, consider exploring our comprehensive guide on speech structure, where you’ll learn how to craft a great speech that resonates from start to finish, whether you’re a student giving a presentation or a keynote speaker at a conference.

Watch this video. It provides tips and examples for crafting effective opening lines for speeches.


Remember, your opening line is your golden opportunity to forge a connection with your audience. It’s the bridge between you and your listeners, the first step in a shared journey of ideas and emotions.

Think of the thought-provoking openers as seeds of curiosity, planting questions in your audience’s minds that your speech will answer. Use storytelling openers to create emotional resonance, making your message unforgettable. Employ humorous openers to break the ice and build rapport. Quote openers can add gravitas and wisdom to your words, while question openers invite active participation and critical thinking.

Whether you’re a student seeking to impress your classmates or a professional addressing a conference, the right opening line can transform a good speech into a great one. It’s not just about the words you choose; it’s about the impact you create.

So, take these great speech opening lines, make them your own, and let your voice be heard! Remember, a powerful opening is just the first step.