Worked with a presenter yesterday on polishing his presentation. His self-proclaimed weakness was “openings and closings”. We started with openings.We moved from “Good morning. I’m A and I’m the B of C and I’m happy to tell you about D today” to a more engaging story, complete with personal anecdote. It played to his natural strengths and left a presentation that will be memorable, meaningful, and fun to listen to.Most audience’s arrive with a basic fear that they will be bored. This fear, of course, is rooted in the simple fact that everyone has been pulled into a monotonic coma by a presenter at one time or another. Therefore, any good presenter will send the message from the first words that “Hey, I’m different. You’re going to really like what I have to say.” In addition, most any point can be made through allegory, story, anecdote, joke, or metaphor.The importance of an engaging opening cannot be emphasized too much.
You can’t lose what you don’t have. Grab your audience’s attention first thing.