6 Unique Presentation Openings
Capture audience attention from the start of your presentation by using one of these 6 unique presentation openings for instant credibility.
6 Unique Presentation Openings
How many times have you heard a presenter open with a standard greeting of “Good Morning! How are you today? I can’t hear you. Let’s try that again, a little louder please.” It is a phrase and standard opening that is commonly used. It is just filler and may give the audience the impression that the speaker is not prepared. There is nothing unique or attention getting about it. It is most likely followed by an agenda or purpose, maybe even ‘house keeping rules!’ It makes audience members want to pull out their smartphones.
Why not try something new that will capture the attention of the audience and really stand out as memorable? As an executive coach and facilitator specializing in communication and presentation skills, I prepare global leaders to speak confidently. This starts with preparing a unique opening that captures the attention of the audience. Next time you are presenting, try opening with one of the following:
1) Share a personal story or experience that relates to the topic. According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, storytelling is a common practice of ‘Super-Achievers.’ When opening, dive right into the first line of the story. Don’t say, “I am going to tell you a story about a time when I was at XYZ Company.” Practice and memorize it. It should be no longer than 3 minutes. Avoid filler words such as: um, uh, so, and so, like. Bridge thoughts together with appropriate pausing and vocal inflection.
2) Use a statistic that relates to your topic.
“According to research 69% of business leaders say it is important to have a mentor. Mentors are critical to developing talent from within. Today you will hear 5 strategies for creating a successful mentoring program that will develop talent internally.“
3) Give an example from the past, lessons learned, etc.
“When we launched the new software release last year, we realized that it didn’t meet all of our needs. This time we have done our research and have the results to prove it. I will be sharing those today.”
4) Ask a question that will lead them into your topic. There are three types you can use:
A polling question gets people engaged right away. “How many of you have ever had a difficult team member?”
A rhetorical question gets the audiences thinking about a topic but no response is required. “Have you ever wondered why some people get promoted over others?”
A hypothetical question is similar to rhetorical but future oriented. “Where will you be in your career in 10 years?”
5) Paint a picture by creating an imaginary scenario.
“Imagine not being able to be in touch with a loved one. No network or smartphones available. That is what it is like in many parts of the world. I am here to share our network expansion plan.”
6) “Quote a pioneer from your industry.”
Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
In preparation for future presentations, spend time thinking about your audience, your purpose, and the end result you want to achieve. This will help you create a unique and attention getting opening that will make you memorable. Developing the perfect opening that will capture the attention of the audience will also make you feel confident as a presenter. The key is choosing the right opening that will best link to your purpose and agenda.
Don’t be that boring business presenter that opens with “Good Morning. How are you today?” Be unique. Try something memorable.