The most important part of a presentation is its beginning.
During that time, your audience will decide whether they’ll give you their full attention. To entice them, make listening easy.
How do you grab their attention, offer valuable insight and demonstrate your relevance?
Start at the beginning—and adopt these approaches:
Use the element of surprise.
Before you draft your next speech, consider what your audience might be expecting. Then, try to say something completely different.
For example, when baseball great Lou Gehrig had to quit the game because of a crippling disease that now bears his name, he made a farewell speech.
The audience was expecting an emotional speech. When Gehrig delivered his address, he barely mentioned his illness.
Fans, for the past two years you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ball parks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Instead of talking about himself, he praised his fans and teammates. He gave the audience something memorable and unexpected.
Outline your intent.