Well begun is half done truly applies when it comes to PowerPoint Presentations. The beginning of the presentation often separates the “wow presentations” from the rest.
Why is it important to focus on how to start a presentation? Many studies have shown that the audience is most clued in at the very start of the session, and everything gets magnified during those initial few seconds.
So we postulate that knowing how to start a presentation is one of the critical presentation skills one must cultivate.
In this blog, we will share with you some tactical tips and ideas on how to start a presentation from the trenches that SlideUplift users have shared with us, which they have found most effective:
1. Mildly Shock The Audience
There are many ways you can shock your audience. For instance, use a prop, start by talking to the audience, show a funny video, ridicule something, etc. The purpose of such a start is to engage your audience, and you want them to remain engaged till the end because they found it interesting. For example, check out the following.
View Animated Q&A Template
Ensure that the shocking statement or fact you are going to use is suitable for the topic of your PowerPoint presentation and your audience.
2. Ask The Audience to Think “what if” or “imagine.”
Use the audience’s imagination and get them to visualize by asking them to imagine something or think ‘what if.’ This technique is effective when you want to evoke certain emotions in your audience.
View ‘What If’ Template
Emotions are a great way to involve people in your talk, ensuring that they will continue to listen until the end and make the presentation successful.
3. Start Your Presentation in The Past or The Future
Many experienced speakers and storytellers use this technique in their talk. They start a story in the past or the future and then seamlessly connect it back to their presentation story. This is a powerful approach to evoke the attention of your audience. You can find many great examples of this.
View Past – Future Template
One example that marketers can use in their presentations is telling a great marketing campaign example from the past to showcase how their proposed strategy in the presentation can impact.
4. Quote Someone
If you are struggling to make a strong opening for your presentation, consider quoting someone. Quoting an industry expert or leader is a great way to start a professional presentation. Make sure it is relevant to the purpose of your presentation. Adding a picture of the person you are quoting adds more texture and breadth to the presentation.
View Quote Template
Quoting someone famous or expert increases the credibility of your talk. It helps you grab the attention of the audience in the very beginning.
5. Statistics & Data
Using data and statistics to establish your point is an effective strategy, not just initially but also throughout the presentation. But remember, statistics can be boring, make sure to compelling visuals like colorful graphs and pie charts.
View Statistics Template
If there is some compelling information that can further the conversation, data can be a powerful tool in a business presentation.
6. Point to Their Problem
This is a great strategy if you are pitching a solution to your prospects or clients. You do not want to come across as negative, but pointing out problems that your customers or prospects may not have thought of can prove to be even more persuasive than stating what they already know.
View Problem Statement Template
This technique is highly effective in business presentations and is regularly used by experienced marketers and salespeople in their pitches.
7. Contradict Expectations
Contradicting your audience’s expectations can give a good start to your presentation. Start with a claim or fact that contradicts what the audience expects. That will make them pay attention to your presentation. This can be a good answer to the question of how to start a presentation interestingly.
This technique can be useful for the presentation topics usually misunderstood by people, such as psychological, scientific, or historical facts.
8. Tell a Story or Joke
You could start your presentation or seminar with a story to highlight the significance of your topic. Your audience is more likely to respond to and remember the story than just a list of facts. Experienced public speakers may start their presentation with a joke. The audience engages if you make them laugh.
View Quote Template
But only use jokes to start your presentation if you are confident with this technique because a joke can be misunderstood and might offend the audience.
9. Ask Questions
A simple yet incredibly effective way to start a presentation or talk that captures attention is to ask a question. As for the audience, the speaker is supposed to be answering their questions. It will be unexpected for them if the speaker begins his presentation with a question.
View Question Template
The intention here is to plant the seed of an idea into the heads of the audience so that the presenter can focus our attention on that idea throughout the seminar or presentation.
10. Start With Video
A video is a powerful approach and answers your question about how to start a presentation. A pre-prepared video can give an impressive presentation opening and get the audience to pay attention even before you start speaking. Keep in mind the video should help further your message, not overtake your message.
You might want to start the presentation with an Agenda Slide. Learn all about when you should use the Agenda slide as an opening slide.
The secret of a great presentation is knowing how to start a presentation powerful and end it successfully. The techniques we have discussed above do not only apply to the beginning – but they are also useful to engage your audience throughout your presentation. Try all these techniques to find out what works best for you and then practice it as much as possible.
SlideUpLift is an online platform to help professionals make compelling presentations using principles of vision science and storytelling. The platform contains an online library of pre-designed presentation templates that can be used across industries and functions.
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