6 Tips: How to start your presentation?

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. And like it or not, this is especially true for presenting. The first minute makes attendees decide whether or not they’ll stay with you. Luckily you can be pretty much in charge… Here are 6 tips:

A powerful kick-off of your presentation – 3 don’ts:

  • Don’t 1: “Can you hear me?”. Never ask if the audience can hear you. Instead, come in on time and test the microphone and audio in advance. People are excited to hear your story, make it sparkle from the first second!
  • Don’t 2: Introduce yourself. Often speakers are introduced by a moderator. Next to that, attendees can also read your bio in the event program. Use your time cleverly and skip an extensive introduction. However, make sure to check with the moderator how you’ll be announced. Add your name to the PowerPoint slides, so that attendees can easily google you.
  • Don’t 3: Jump straight to the point. Recall your last sip of wine? Before you can enjoy your glass of wine, you need that first moment to reflect on the taste. From there the drinking becomes more enjoyable. The same goes for speakers. The first few seconds, attendees have to get used to you. Much of what you’re saying won’t be registered. Save important info for later!

A powerful kick-off of your presentation – 3 do’s:

  • Do 1: Share a personal story. What happened last weekend? Which picture can you show? Which music makes you tick? Share something personal and use it as a stepping stone to your subject. The more personal, the more people are interested.
  • Do 2: Refer to a trending topic. Is there anything going on in the news that has a relation to your subject? Make clever use of FOMO: people’s fear of missing out. “In this morning’s news I read that …” is a powerful opening line causing everyone to be all ears.
  • Do 3: Ask a question. People like to think along and share experiences. Therefore, ask them a question via Sendsteps. It is also an effective opening exercise, because attendees can also get to know each other when discussing the question together. Ask for some plenary responses. Either live, or present the digital results on the presentation screen. Use the answers as an interesting bridge to your upcoming story.

From here we wish you good luck with your smashing presentation!

About the author

Robert DaverschotModerator | Presenter | Speaker Coach

Robert is a professional moderator, presenter and speaker coach. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and works for a broad range of industries. He has interviewed ministers, captains of industry and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With it, an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in comments to speakers and panels on stage. As such, events turn into lively dialogues with everyone being able to speak up!

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