The object of the introduction is to establish harmony between the speaker and the audience. I may include personal references, though it would be better to leave these as far as possible to the presiding officer.
Personal references smack off egotism. But a clever story, a striking statement to arouse interest, and explanation to remove prejudice against the speaker or his subject, a historic narrative, or an analysis and elucidation of the proposition may form quite a suitable beginning. The introduction should lead up to a clear, emphatic statement of the subject or main proposition.
Great care should be taken not to make the introduction too long. This is a common fault. Usually with an intelligent audience the speaker may; with a few tactful, preliminary remarks; enter at once upon the discussion of his theme.
In this part of the speech the speaker sets forth the proofs or arguments in support of his contention. They will usually group themselves under three of four main headings. Too many leading issues are harmful to the main issue. So the arrangement of arguments should be made in an ascending scale, i.e. according to the law of climax. In other words, he must present the simplest and most self-evident arguments first and then those of greater strength and importance, thus, gaining momentum with every argument he adds to the previous ones, until he can carry his audience with the most forcible argument that he gives last of all.
In this part of the speech the speaker should sum up clearly and briefly all the arguments and proofs which he has given in support of his contention, and should make the desired appeal. Here the speaker must marshal all his powers of persuasion. He must judge the temper of the audience and the demand of the moment. A comprehensive summary accompanied with a strong appeal to the hearts and consciences of the hearers may serve. Or some striking and brief statement may serve to fasten the speech in the minds of the audience and to rouse them to action.
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