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The Lost Art of the Great Speech: How to Write It * How to Deliver It by Richard Dowis

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Formal vs. informal

Now, we will take a look at some techniques and ideas for opening your speech. First, let's dispose of the question of the formal opening versus the informal opening.

In a formal opening, it's customary to address directly or acknowledge the key individuals and groups in the audience by mentioning each, usually starting with the most prominent or most senior. For example, if you're addressing the Southtown Rotary Club, a formal opening would begin something like this:

President Bennett.

Members and guests of the Southtown Rotary Club.

If the audience includes a distinguished guest, mention that person's name first. Let's say the mayor of Southtown is in the audience that day. Your acknowledgments should be:

Mayor Larson.

President ...

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