The way you start a presentation is essential for its result, your energy, and your security. That is why it is necessary to prepare well. How to start a presentation
The first minutes of a presentation are decisive for the audience
You will have attended various conferences, lectures, and presentations.
Have you come to disconnect, have you lost the thread or the interest in the chat on any of those occasions?
There is nothing better than putting yourself in the listener’s shoes to understand how to transmit and capture the attention of the people in front of you when it is your turn to present.
Visualize yourself before an audience that listens to your first words; people who expect something from you: a message that provides them with material to incorporate into their lives or professions.
Why are those first moments when you start a presentation so vital?
Because you play a lot:
- The image you transmit.
- The attention of the public.
- His curiosity …
For this reason, it is crucial to build a robust and authentic beginning.
We have many elements to do so and thus capture the people’s attention in front of you and facilitate the message you have proposed to convey to reach them.
What do you need to start your presentation powerful?
- 3.1. Make a favorable and appropriate first impression
- 3.2. Set the tone
- 3.3. Get attention
- 3.4. Generate curiosity
Let’s develop these four points.
3.1. Make a favorable and appropriate first impression on your audience
A clear impression means having a positive predisposition when it comes to listening to you. According to the place where you are going to hold the event, a good appearance is according to the nature of the talk. With what can we create that positive predisposition?
With your presence How to start a presentation
Enter the space where the presentation will take place upright. Imagine that with a thread, they will pull from the top of your head upwards, gently but with determination. Take over the space, make it yours. You will give a feeling of firmness and confidence that will directly spread to your audience. If you trust yourself, the public will too.
With your smile How to start a presentation
When you are more nervous, you are more serious. It is an automatic mechanism. Always show your smile; practice it if necessary. Your audience will be more benevolent in the face of a small mistake (imagine that you get lost in the speech, something happens that is not in the script …)
With your look How to start a presentation
A nervous state makes you look up or down … it causes you to lose all the potential of a tool that is fortunately always on your side: the gaze.
With your voice How to start a presentation
Music directly influences neurons, and the same thing happens with your voice. Depending on how you use your voice, this will impact your audience. With a deep voice, you will give a feeling of authority. On the contrary, you can use it more acutely if you want to generate a sense of closeness.
3.2. Define the tone in which the presentation will occur
With the tone of voice, you predispose your audience. A simple example, if the beginning of a conference is very formal and technical, you will respond to your speech as it is: technical, serious. If you start with a joke, the audience will be predisposed to listen to a lecture with a humorous, entertaining tone. Or imagine that you start your speech very melodiously, then they will expect a more loving, kinder talk from you. This is how you predispose your audience to a type of presentation.
3.3. Capture the attention of your audience
How long do we have to get attention? A few seconds? Yes, a few seconds. Therefore, the words you start with will be crucial. You have to contribute something very significant to catch that special attention, and for this, you can use different mechanisms. I’m going to mention 6:
It is straightforward to find quotes on the internet according to the theme of your speech. Do not stick with any selection you see, but with the one that sets the tone for the type of presentation.
Starting with a joke can add a touch of humor, which is usually well received by the audience.
Offer people a thesis that has never been raised because if your audience has already heard about it before, and they disconnect, they do not attend because they believe they already know the data. You have to be constantly feeding the listener’s restlessness to avoid disconnection.
This mechanism helps to interact with your listeners, and it is very effective because it leads the person to think about themselves regarding the topic presented.
Most TED talks start with a story. There are numerous studies where it is observed that, when starting a conversation with a story, the listeners’ pupils dilate, the body leans slightly forward, and a peak of attention is created. What do people want at that moment? Know what is going to happen next in the story. Let’s not forget to select a story that is directly related to the nature of the exposed topic.
If speaking in public makes you very nervous and represents an agitated situation for you, it would be highly recommended to start your presentation with a video because you give prominence to something else; in this case, you provide it to images, to people. Take advantage of those moments to take a couple of breaths to help you get used to the people in front of you. Whatever you decide, a rhetorical question, a story … never reveal the outcome from the beginning. Show that the story has developed and unfolds little by little.
3.4. Generate curiosity
And how do you win the curiosity of the audience?
- Try to make you want to know more about it.
- If you’ve used a story, they’ll want to know how it goes on.
- Highlight the benefits of what you are about to tell so that they want to keep listening.
You already have almost all the pieces, and I continue to emphasize that the first minute is key to achieving the most precious thing: attention to your presentation. The beginning is such a critical moment that you have to prepare a lot, rehearsing and rehearsing.
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