Skip to main content

How to Start a Speech with an Icebreaker

Learn how to start a speech with an icebreaker from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking training video.


How do you start your speech with an ice breaker?

The main thing is you want to engage your audience in a way that's interesting to them and relevant to them. So you don't want to just start off with something generic like, "How may of you would like to be richer?" or "How many of you would like to be thinner or better looking?" People are sick of that. It's trite. It's cliche.

You need to figure out a way of engaging people so that it seems relevant to why they're there and relevant to the information they want to learn. So for example, when I'm giving a presentation on how to improve your speaking skills, I don't start off by just lecturing for ten minutes. I talk to people for about 30 seconds, and then I say, "So, Jim, what do you want to do to improve?" I have Jim stand up. I put the video camera on him, and I just let him talk about himself, what he wants to get out of the day. "Sally, what do you want to do?"

So it breaks the ice for everyone in the room. Everyone gets to speak. Everyone gets to learn a little about themselves. Now is it funny? No. Is it wildly creative? No. But it starts off the presentation in a way that's not just me, me, me, and it breaks the ice. That's what you're trying to do.

Popular Categories