To help facilitate forging a connection with your audience at the top of your presentation, I strongly suggest you memorize the first thirty seconds of your talk. Maybe even the first minute. This is not to make you sound like a robot. Quite the contrary! By memorizing your first thirty seconds, you’ll be freed up to connect with your audience. If, instead, you’re struggling for words, your ability to engage with them will be highly compromised. Your listeners will sense your distress and become distracted. Again, a poor beginning can be tough to recover from.