Practical Attention-Getter Examples That’ll Engage Your Audience

The first few seconds of your speech will determine whether or not your audience will give you their attention. This is why you should begin with attention-grabbing openings. Attention-getter examples include stories, quotes, and questions that persuades an audience to listen.

Conveying a powerful message is important, but equally important is your ability to hook your audience instantly. An attention-getter can do this for you. This guide will look at a list of attention getters and how you can use them to gain your audience’s attention.

Attention Getters: Importance in Speeches

An attention-getter is a phrase or statement that typically opens a speech and aims to grab the audience’s attention. Such statements captivate the audience, pique their curiosity, and suggest that the speaker has something insightful to convey.

When you use attention getters in your speeches, you minimize the chances of the audience tuning out, losing focus, or even half paying attention.

An attention-getter establishes credibility, gives the audience a reason to listen, and creates a clear transition into the main subject of discussion.

7 Effective Attention-Getter Examples

Attention getters are typically a speaker’s opening statement that gets the audience’s attention. They strongly influence the audience’s focus on what the speaker is saying. Here are some attention getters that have proved effective in hooking an audience.

1. Rhetorical Question

Using a rhetorical question in your speech can cause your audience to lean forward in their chairs and listen closely to you. The best way to use a rhetorical question is to ask a question that your audience would want to hear answered.

Questions are a great way to create curiosity and stir up interest. You invite the audience to interact and engage with you by posing a question. Questions will get your audience thinking and even taking sides.

2. Bold Statement

Bold statements can be a powerful attention-getter for your speech. By proclaiming something powerfully, you catch the audience’s eye and make them pay attention to you. A bold statement is a great way to convey your passion, stress the importance of an issue, and draw attention immediately.

When you make a bold statement with the correct body language, you will exude the kind of power that will make you noticeable. Shock-value statements such as “I almost died yesterday” can keep your audience engaged.

3. Humor

Humor is a great attention getter because it is a brilliant way to break up lengthy speeches and relieve tension in uncomfortable situations. It also puts everyone at ease by bringing laughter to otherwise dry and complex addresses.

Humor is one of the best ways to open your audience’s minds and boost your effectiveness as a speaker. However, you can only make your audience laugh with good humor.

You must understand your audience to know what kind of joke works for them. Focus on creating a humorous text that is appropriate for your audience.

4. Shocking Statistics or Facts

Most people believe that statistics is boring and, when incorporated into speeches, will make the audience disinterested. Using statistics and facts correctly can make your address more interesting for the audience, just like any attention-grabbing statement or rhetorical question can.

The key is to incorporate shocking and intriguing statistical information or piece of data without going extreme.

For example: “Did you know that more than 36 million U.S. adults cannot read above a third-grade level?” By intriguing your audience, you create a space to emphasize the importance of your message.

5. Dramatize Scenes

While statistics are suitable for speeches, too many of them can make your audience bored. Instead of making your audience understand graphs, give them a visual image or associate a relatable emotion with an abstract idea.

By painting a picture of your message, you appeal to your audience’s emotions and allow them to imagine what you’re saying. Begin with phrases like “imagine” or “picture this,” followed by descriptive words. Try “imagine millions of individuals being killed yearly due to the indoor air pollution we cause.” Instead of “four million premature deaths are caused by indoor air pollution yearly.”

6. a Good Story

Good stories make for a great speech. Many speakers have turned to stories to inspire, inform, and entertain an audience. Unlike data, which lacks human-interest when overused, stories are always engaging. Stories can also evoke an emotional response from anyone in the audience.

Mind-blowing relatable stories that entirely change an audience’s view on an issue are always great to tell. After all, you want to leave your audience with a wholly new perspective.

It’s great if your story has some lesson or mirroring. You could tell a personal story that relates to your topic. Stories are a great way to connect with an audience, not just at the beginning of your speech but in the body.


Quotes are another aspect of speaking that adds an element of interest. Quoting someone can be a great way to draw the audience in, especially if the quotes are eye-catching and exciting. A great quote can be the “hook” to the rest of your speech and help the audience take an interest in what you’re saying.

Use a quote relevant to your discussion topic, and double-check the source to avoid misquoting the person.

man wearing black suit standing in front of an audience
man wearing black suit standing in front of an audience

To Wrap Up

Attention getters are the basis for a compelling speech. Without them, your audience will most likely tune out. You have to give your audience a reason to listen to you. By incorporating attention-getting elements in your speech, you will undoubtedly entice more of your listeners to pay attention to what you have to say.

Try on the attention-getter examples listed above and see how captivated your audience will be.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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