Ideas and tips for opening your speeches. I like the idea of "Make points that people agree on first". This is also an effective, if not over-used, sales technique "get them saying yes". If you can do this humorously, all the better.
One of the hardest things when speaking is to remain calm. Now personally, I believe in the "Fake til you Make it" school of thought - act calm and you will become calm. But how do you "act calm"? Try to control and concentrate on those things you can control, such as your breathing, expression and gestures. Do not forget about your voice . Work at starting at a lower pitch than normal to give yourself some room to go higher as your excitement and passion crescendo. This also helps to present a calm facade.