The first contact with any audience is important. Often ignored it makes a huge difference to the outcome of the experience.
Before you can speak, the audience is already deciding if they are going to listen. That has to do with the way you look, walk and act. Before you can be seen last minute adjustments should have been completed, leaving nothing to chance. Now, put yourself out of your mind.
They see you and your nonverbal communications are being used by them to make decisions. If they decide they can listen to you without risk, they probably will. In some cases they have seen publicity and advertising that indicated to them that they might be interested.
When you do begin to speak, the verbal portion of the first contact needs to be well thought out, carefully worded and created to tie the audience to the speaker and the topic. The standard elements need to be present: 1) gain attention, 2) tie the audience to you and your topic, 3) assure the audience that you know what you’re talking about, 4) tell them what the topic is and 5) hit the main points you will be covering.
Don’t spend any time suggesting that what you are about to say “is the best you could under the circumstances.” Don’t suggest by your delivery that you are afraid of the sound of your own voice. Just dive into the ideas you are going to present with enthusiasm. If you’re not interested in what you are saying, why should they be? Your only concern should be the valuable service you are providing to them.
The first contact with any and all audiences without regard to size is important. Spend necessary time preparing for the best possible introduction to your communication to assure better outcomes.