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Give your presentation momentum from the get go by starting with an attention grabber

How do you get your presentation going and give it that bit of momentum so that it drives forwards and everybody has a great time? Hi, I’m Shola Kaye, and that’s the question I’m going to ask or answer, should I say, in this short video. Now, presumably you’ve already come on. You’ve introduced yourself. Before you introduced yourself, you grabbed people’s attention. Typically, with a question or a quote or a story, just something to drag people’s attention towards you and whatever you’ve got to say, rather than people looking at their phone or chatting to their neighbor or whatever, looking at something on their desk if perhaps you’re in a boardroom. Now that you’ve got their attention, and you’ve shared a little bit about yourself, maybe your name, the company you’re from, whatever it might be. How do you actually get into the guts of your presentation?

Then introduce yourself and tell the audience who you are and why you are there

Well, before you actually launch into the meats or where the main body of your presentation, there’s a few things that you want to include in your introduction. Those are, as we said, a grabber, some sort of introduction to yourself, perhaps your name or something to do your credibility. Why are you there delivering this presentation on this particular day? What do you have to do with things? It could just be that I work for so-and-so company, and I’ve been with this company for X number of months. It could be as simple as that, or it could be the role that you have at that company, but just something that sort of qualifies you to be there so people aren’t questioning, “Well, who is this person? Why are they here? Why are they making this presentation all the way through?”

Let the audience know you understand them to build your credibility

Because you really want people to be with you to be present to what you’ve got to say. You want them not to be asking themselves questions about you or the content, you want them to be listening and open and receptive. You want to make sure that you’ve got some sort of credibility in there, or some sort of justification as to why it’s you that’s making the presentation. Also, what’s useful in the opener of a presentation is, is that you understand the problem or the situation that your audience is facing. Because again, once you show that you understand, they’re more likely to relax and listen. If you’re speaking about something, they’re not sure if it’s relevant to them, and you don’t show that, you know, the situation they’re in, so that they’re going to be thinking, “Well, is this a waste of my time? Should I be here? Is this going to serve me, or is this going to fail me, this information?”

Include a presentation roadmap early so they know what to expect

Provided you tell them early on that you get their problem and by the end of this presentation, you should have solved X, Y, and Z for them, or they’ll now know how to do PQ&R, then they’ll relax and be with you. Now, the one other thing that you want to include before you get into the real guts of the presentation is what we call a roadmap. It’s like a high level, where is this presentation going? You want them to know that by the end of this, I’m going to have shared with you three points or three top tips to help you get a better mortgage, or it might be my three main pieces of advice to help you save money, whatever it might be that you’re sharing with them ahead of time, what the benefits are of listening. Again, so that they can relax, kick back, listen, be present while you’re speaking, rather than questioning the whole time, “Should I be here? Is this for me? What am I going to get from this?”

A good introduction helps you deliver a good audience experience

Hope that helps. Just a few things there that you can include in your introduction as you get going so that you bring the audience with you all the way and you give them a really good experience. Thanks a lot. Take care.

Shola Kaye is an award-winning speaker, author and professional speaker coach with clients around the world. Her work has been mentioned in Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar and on the BBC.
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