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Monday, 20 February 2017

Member Blog: 5 Ways to Start a Presentation

5 Ways to Start a Presentation
By Buffalo7

You have a maximum of a minute to capture your audience’s attention. Failure to do so and the remainder of your presentation will fall on deaf ears. With this in mind it’s important you start strong so we’ve put together this blog of five different ways you could start your presentation.

1.       You can quote me on that
A great quote doesn’t have to be a famous one it just has to be memorable. In fact, you should probably avoid clichés. We’ve all heard the Confucius quote a million times “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” so try to stay clear of quotes you expect the majority of your audience have heard before.

Get your audience interacting from the off. You could put half of the quote on the first slide and then ask your audience to finish it.

“A good speech is like a pencil;………”

Have you got it? Course you have.

2.      Share a secret
Don’t delve into your private life, what you get up to at the weekends is your business but something along the lines of;

“Hi. My name is James and I’m going to share a secret with you. When I started this job, my greatest fear was public speaking.”

This shows your human side and can help you connect with your audience. They should immediately empathise with you and will you on from this point onwards.

3.      Be a contrarian
Not for the sake of it but if you have an unconventional approach that goes against popular beliefs then be brave and go with it from the start. If you’re talk is on sales techniques for 2017 your opener could be;

“We all know that cold calling as a legitimate sales technique died a long time ago. Well I’m here to tell you that that’s simply not true. Here’s why…”

They may not agree with you but they’ll certainly be listening.

4.      A picture says a...
Starting with a powerful image can do the hard work for you. If you can evoke strong emotions early on you’ll have your audience rapt from the get go and this is far easier done with a powerful picture than a plethora of text. Make them feel with a cute puppy or an iconic historical photograph, for example.

5.      Tailor your opening gambit
Think about your audience and what would appeal best to them. Try and tailor your opener to their industry and interests. A room of coders will respond better to a joke about Linux than a room of architects. A group of philosophy students will find a Socrates anecdote more relatable than one about Picasso.
Start strong, finish strong
Once you’ve chosen your opener, it’s a good idea to return to it when closing your presentation. This completes the storytelling loop and leaves your take-home message fixed in your audiences mind. A good speech is like a pencil; it has to have a point.

Buffalo 7 is the UK’s leading PowerPoint presentation design agency working with names including UEFA Champions League, Dell, Red Bull, Facebook and the BBC. 


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