How to Effectively Open Your Presentation

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In your opening you need to introduce yourself and your topic without losing your audience to daydreaming. People often meander into their speech and start by telling the audience what they are going to talk about in a sloppy manner – it’s too late, you have lost them already! 

Statistics say you have sixty-seconds to capture an audiences attention – making that initial approach the most important. Captivating your viewers instantaneously will maximize the effectiveness of your presentation.

You are the entertainer to your audience so don’t be afraid to get visual! Here are five great ways to open your presentation that appeal to a variety of different audiences:

 1. Quotes

  • People love shared wisdom – and if it comes from a valuable source that gives it great credibility.
  • Reference how it relates to your speech. A brief explanation can pull it all together.
  • Keep a log of great quotes as they come along – they could do great use in an upcoming presentation!

 2. Statistics

  • First off, find your information from a trusted source and keep it relevant to your speech.
  • If used correctly it can be a viable piece.
  • A great way to capture Orange personalities (for those who are a fan of the True Colors Personality Assessment).

 3. Questions

  • Sometimes a simple “How is everyone doing today?” can make your speech feel like a conversation between you and your audience.
  • Your viewers will feel connected and important to have become a part of the presentation and gives them a sense of power while you’re doing all the chatting.

 4. Stories

  • We have been taught to love stories since we were children – we crave them because we all have them.
  • Don’t be afraid to make one up –it’s important to keep it relevant.
  • If it is a story dear to your heart it will allow the audience to connect with you on a personal level.
  • Create a friendly stance as if it were a conversation between just you and one other viewer. A great way to make them feel special and as a contributor to the speech.
  • Do your very best to “paint a picture” for your audience.

 5. Humor

  • This can be quite a grey area but can also be very powerful. Remember, no joke is better than an unsuccessful one.
  • A humorous visual can be a great idea – laughter creates positive energy!

In conclusion, your opening line sets the overall performance. Take a light approach and make it drop like a bomb! Also, by starting with a bang, you can release your elevated levels of adrenaline racing through your body, allowing the pace to settle down so that you can relax into your talk. A plus for you and your audience – everyone wins!

Hope you found these tips useful – Release Your Voice wants to know what you think is the best way to open a presentation is! 

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About releaseyourvoices

Release Your Voice with Pamela Hart: Public Speaking training based in Vancouver BC. We offer training seminars, oral presentation skills, corporate communication, private lessons or group training
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