1. "I’d like to thank Brother So-and-so for the opportunity to speak today … I did see him coming towards me in the corridor, and I tried to avoid eye contact, and push primary children out of my way to run off, and say I might be sick that day ... but here I am."
2. "I hate giving talks in sacrament. I try to avoid doing it."
3. "I am so nervous ... I’m such a bad speaker."
4. "I was clearly given this topic because I need to work on it."
5. "So I looked up the definition of ‘repentance’ on Wikipedia …"
Okay, I slightly exaggerate, but you've totally heard opening paragraphs like these.
For me, I draft my talk well in advance, and time it several times. That’s just how I operate. And I am always well over the time limit - just like how I am always over the word limit for school essays and assignments.
So why would I waste time in sacrament meeting by telling you how Brother So-and-so asked me to speak? And then go on and tell you my life story? And rely on definitions as my opening paragraph?
Remember, this is what NOT to do!