Amy Carroll » Ministry Development » Attention Getting Intro

Attention Getting Intro

Today I’m delighted to introduce my intern, Michaela Marley!  Michaela is a smart and beautiful 16-year-old who has helped me tremendously with Next Step administrative tasks.  She is the source of lots of the social media posts that you see, and I’m eternally grateful for her talents and hard work.  Michaela is also an emerging speaker, and she’s been sharing what she’s learning in her class with me.  I think it’s great stuff, so today Michaela is our guest blogger.  Will ya’ll make her feel welcome by leaving some hospitable comments?  Thanks, friends!  ~ Amy

Hi!  My name is Michaela. I’ve been helping Mrs. Amy with her social media such as Facebook and Twitter for the past year. It has been a great privilege to work with her, and she has given me the opportunity the write this week’s blog post!I am participating in a speech class/club this year. The class teaches how to write great speeches and present them. One of the things that we learned on the first day is how to write an AGI: attention getting intro. An AGI is basically the “hook” that creates a more avid listener in your audience. You might be asking, “What makes a good intro?” Here are some ways to get your audience hooked.1. A personal storyA personal story is probably one of the best ways to get your audience’s attention. It also allows your audience to connect and relate with you on a personal level. A personal story gives a bit of mystery to your speech as well. When you start with a personal story, for example, about your daughter, it keeps your audience on the edge of their seats wondering what’s going to happen next! Personal stories are great ways to get your audience in tune to your speech.

2. A shocking statement or a startling statistic

“I am going to die in less than twenty-four hours!”

Wow. Didn’t see that coming did you? Using a statement like this before going on to speak about how valuable our time is, can give your audience a reality check. A shocking statement, true or not, can really grab your audience’s attention and, depending on what you say, can give them a new perspective on your


It is also a great idea to have a startling statistic, especially when you’re trying to persuade your audience. I wrote a persuasive speech on cell phone driving, and I gave the statistic about the number of car crashes that happen every year due to cell phones. Startling statistics and statement can give your audience a wakeup call.

3. A quotation or familiar saying

Quotes from famous people expand your speech from just you. It’s not just your words anymore, but another reliable person agrees with you as well. Your audience is more persuaded if someone else is supporting your ideas. Also, using familiar sayings such as, “the early bird catches the worm,” and “a penny saved is a penny earned,” can bring understanding and even life to your audience.

4. A vivid descriptive picture

“Close your eyes and imagine that it’s Thanksgiving Day. The large turkey is baking in the oven. Your mouth waters as the aroma of the warm pumpkin pie wafts through your nose. The dining room table is all set and you’re just waiting for your aunts, uncles, and cousins to arrive!” Mental pictures such as this can wrap your audience into your speech and get them ready for the rest of your speech.

AGI or an attention getting intro is what’s going to bring your speech to life even before you get into the meat of your subject. It also gets your audience alert and ready for what you have to say. Next time you’re writing your speech put an AGI at the beginning and see what a difference it makes your audience.


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  1. Thank you so much for all the comments I have received! I so glad that that these points have been helpful! There are so many more AGI intro ideas I could have mentioned, but these four I have used the most and have found very effective. I hope that all of you will continue to use your speaking talent to glorify God!
    Thanks again,

  2. Daphne Beck says:

    Hi Michaela, wounderful insite. Continue to enjoy your class. looking forward to seeing you as one of the 31 speakers in the near future:) keep up the good work and always keep God first in your life.

  3. Wanted to take a moment today to tell you all how thankful I am for you! Your tips, encouragement and insights are always right on time! May God continue to bless your ministry!

  4. Thanks Michaela for your insight. I appreciated the examples. How wonderful you are following your dream at such an early age – you go girl! Tell Amy HI!

  5. I love this Michaela! What excellent insight. I am speaking on marriage at a MOPs group in February…and I am thinking a lot about this. Now I will be thinking more about my AGI and you’ve given me some concrete tips to help me begin well. Nice to meet you and happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Hi Michaela!
    Thanks for sharing today! I loved your post and really appreciate you sharing what you’re learning. Great tips!!

  7. Michaela – Great ideas you have given us. I appreciated your post and especially liked the examples tucked inside. They are definitely nuggets I’ll be able to use. When I was a sophomore in High School, an English teacher saw my passion for writing and fanned that flame. Thanks for your words and the reminder about hooking our audiences to hear our messages.

  8. Brenda G. says:

    Hello, Michaela and thank you for your AGI notes, which I wholeheartedly agree with. It’s the way I like to work and I found it very encouraging to have it endorsed by what you wrote. Everyone, young or old, experienced or new to speaking, needs encouragement from time to time, so I do truly thank you for sharing your notes.

    I do hope you continue to enjoy working with and for Mrs. Amy and my prayer is that you will both experience God’s richest blessings in your lives.

    with love in Jesus,


  9. Thanks so much for sharing- such good information.
    Your words are so helpful. I’m not a speaker, but I might
    be one day, and I love to learn more about how
    to communicate the best news in the whole wide
    world: the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!
    Thanks again for your work.

  10. Kim C from Michigan says:

    Michaela, Thanks so much for the tips! I will put them to use soon. All the best to you and Mrs. Amy. She is blessed to have you! Kim