When speaking at a conference or seminar the phrase spoken by Mark 'Doc' Andrews win over his immediately was simple.
"Frankly you aren't what I was expecting either."
The crowd would break out into wildly respectful laughter and the giant elephant in the room was dismissed.
From that moment on he had the audience engaged in every word he said.
Whether you open with a joke, personal tag line or enthusiastic welcome it is the first five to 10 seconds that sets the audience’s expectation and subsequent respect.
Make sure it is personal. Using the line by Andrews will not work for you. Instead there is something about you, your industry, the place where you are speaking or a current event that will endear you immediately.