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Example of How to Start a Speech with an Anecdote

I was fortunate to watch Professor Andrew Kaufman’s talk live in Paramount Theater at TEDx Charlottesville in 2016. His talk was the most memorable one among many other presentations. The approach he starts his speech captures the audience immediately which greatly contributed to his overall inspiring talk.

Before his appearance, a 5-minute-long video was played to provide background information of Professor Kaufman’s project, a program in correction center, seeking to inspire inmates within discussions of Russian Literature. The video works particular well because it helps to address the background information so that the audience is on the same page as the speaker. Professor Andrew Kaufman started his talk with the reading of the Russian reading a story of which a murderer panicked by himself and later met Sonia who accepted him. With his exaggerated body language and slightly raised voice. He performed the reading in the most vivid way. With changes from story-telling voice to the normal voice, the Professor Kaufman successfully transits his talk from the piece of the reading to the story he is hoping to address the point. At the end of the story, the question “where is my Sonia” from one of the prisoners marks the climax of his beginning part. Not only it explained his project, it also starts to emphasize the role of literature as his main message. The overall of his beginning 5 minutes works particularly well. This TEDx talk will be a model of writing a speech with an anecdote and performing it!

Published inSpeech Analysis

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