Like an actor any presenter must make an entrance on stage, You must prepare and rehearse your opening so that you look at your audience, not at your notes, as you deliver it.
Then make sure that the opening to your presentation is one which grabs their attention.
Before considering a number of different opening techniques which will help you to make an impact right at the start of your presentation, here are two things to avoid:
- Don't apologise. You may think that it will relax the audience and make you sound friendly, but it will lose you their confidence and their attention.
- Don't use a ‘Title opening’. To start by saying "I'm going to talk to you today about my proposals for the re-organisation of the quality system", is both unnecessary (they probably know that already) and lacking in interest.
Well maybe such an emotional start to your presentation is not appropriate let's look at 5 other approaches to opening a presentation powerfully
"Does anybody know how much a typical loaf of bread costs ?"
"I guess a number of you in this audience today must be thinking - how will these new proposals affect your job?"
Of course it might be worth asking someone as part of your research ahead of the presentation.
You run the risk of losing their attention at what should be the most critical part of your presentation.
"Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address the members of one of the oldest democratic societies in the world. Thank you for letting me into your midst.