Ken Davis, a master communicator to youth, says that your first 50 words are the most important words of your message. Like a juicy worm is to a fish, so should your introduction should be to your students. It should capture their attention, hooking them to your line for the duration of your message.
* A captivating illustration.
* A true life story of someone who either applied or failed to apply the principles contained in your message, with startling consequences.
* A personal illustration of the topic's importance to your life.
* Some dramatic statistics.
* A drama.
* A clip from a movie.
* A>song, played with words projected on a screen. Could be either a secular, popular song, or Contemporary Christian. And be a good missionary: make sure the style is indigenous to the natives!
* A good joke.
* A meaningful activity.
For thought: Is it effective to use introductory activities, jokes, or personal stories that have no relation to the topic? Many speakers would answer "yes." They find unrelated material effective in "warming up an audience," particular an unfamiliar audience.
Some traveling speakers may find several "introductions" that never fail to win an audience. They may use them prior to any number of topics. Students listen more attentively when they feel closer to you. Often, some jokes or entertaining personal experiences can jump start a relationship with the audience that will pay rich dividends at decision time.
But remember, unrelated games or stories will not introduce your topic. Think of them as a warm-up, not an introduction. After warming up the audience, you will still need an introduction to sell students on the topic.