The first fifteen seconds – yes, seconds – are the most crucial during a presentation. This is the duration in which your audience will decide whether what you are going to present is worth their attention. If you don’t manage to impress them in these few seconds, you will have an audience busy with phones, hair, nails, and everything else except your presentation.
Thus, you have to ensure that your beginning is punchy enough to make the audience actually listen to you. How? Read on.
Have the Host Introduce you
You shouldn’t go there and start introducing yourself. That will waste your beginning and people will start yawning already. You need a host who will introduce you. A 100-word bio is enough. Add 50 words explaining the topic you are going to expound on. If you called the meeting yourself, make sure you add this information in the invite itself.
Throw a Punch
Not literally, no. I am just asking you to start off with a fact that is amazing. For example, put up a huge number – real number – that can draw eyes. Text won’t give you the same. Now translate that figure and speak about it. People will listen to you. For sure.
Oh, so many people think this works. How that became a tradition, I have no idea. Many people take joking so seriously that they actually try coming up with a long joke that actually ends up irritating the audience, let alone making them laugh! Don’t do that. A punchy one-liner may get you far but a long joke that is not even really funny will make you lose their attention.
Don’t tell that you have fifty years of expertise to your name. Honestly, no one even cares about who you are in the beginning. You should instead start with something that is meaningful – not to you but to them. Think about your audience and not about what you want to tell. Change your perspective.
These four tips will give you the start you are looking for. The audience will be all ears.
Whether people actually listen to your presentation will depend on what you show them in the first fifteen seconds. If you fail to keep them hooked during that time, you simply can’t expect them to listen to you later on. Keep it real and punchy. Expose startling facts right in the beginning and don’t waste your time introducing yourself or cracking jokes.