What do you think makes an introduction successful? What’s needed?

Introductions

Read the three speech introductions below and indicate which one you would choose if speaking to an audience of college students who do not know much about the issue of global warming. There is no right or wrong answer here. You are simply putting yourself into the shoes of the listener and choosing which short introduction grabs your attention and gets you ready to listen.

Introduction A

Hi. Last year I took a class in global ecology. I learned that the earth is warming about one degree every fifty years. At this rate, more than twenty percent of the ice stored in the polar icecaps will melt by the year 2050. This may not seem like a lot, but with this much extra water in the oceans, we might see Miami Beach under water and the island of Manhattan a new place to SCUBA dive. In my speech…

Introduction B

Good afternoon. My name is Ted Scott, and I’m going to talk about the issue of global warming. As you know, the earth is warming because humans are emitting CO2 gas from the cars we drive, from the fuels we use to heat our homes, and from the coal we burn to produce electricity. At the rate we are heating the earth, we will melt the polar ice caps in fifty years and sink much valuable oceanfront property. In my speech…

Introduction C

One day in the future, your grandchildren, or perhaps their grandchildren, take a vacation to New York State. They plan to do what so many other vacationers do in the area that was Manhattan Island; they will SCUBA dive through the subways of Manhattan Island. That’s right; if global warming continues through this century at the same rate it has been continuing over the last thirty years, some scientists are predicting that the Island of Manhattan will be under water by the year 2075. It seems unlikely, doesn’t it?

  1. So which introduction did you pick? Do you know why it appealed to you?
  2. What do you think makes an introduction successful? What’s needed?
  3. If you refer back to the list of attention-getters in module 6, what are a couple of the techniques you’d feel comfortable using in an introduction? Why?

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