We all know that a sure-fire way of setting the tone for a successful presentation or speech is to have a killer opening, which hooks the audience from the get-go. But knowing this, and knowing how to achieve this, are very different things.
Generally speaking, a great deal of effort is put into the core content of what we intend to say or present because after all we know our topic and may even be confident of delivering it well. But very little time is spent on how we bookend the presentation, with the start and finish.
Yet these elements are the most important parts and will determine how you feel as you open and close what you are going to share, and even more so the success of the effect on your audience.
So here are three high impact ways to open a presentation or training session you are delivering. We have also created a free download, which goes into much more detail, with real-life examples and space to write down your own thoughts.
1. Ask a rhetorical question:
To open up with a relevant, thought-provoking, question is a great way to lead into your subject matter, as it gets your audience aligned with what you are about to share with them and why it is important to listen to it. But it is best to make it rhetorical, so you are not putting pressure on your audience for detailed responses.
2. Start with a powerful quote
Picking a quote that relates to your subject matter has a proven track record of prompting people to think and feel things about your subsequent presentation, making the overall effect much more powerful. This could even be a very recent quote from someone to make it time-sensitive and relevant.
3. Start with ‘why?’
If you start with why – why this topic, why it’s of relevance – this helps people focus. If you can get people to think things like “ah, ok, this IS relevant and important to me actually”, then you have them sitting forward and ready to pay attention and interact.
And here is one piece of advice on how NOT to start a presentation.
Presenters commonly start by stating their name, organisation, title and so on. People don’t need to be told this immediately – they’ll already know – but by starting with this detail, you’ll have lost the chance to create that initial impact. Our advice is to grab their attention fully from the get-go and introduce yourself second.
For the free PDF download of our top 3, with examples and space for you to add your own, visit www.open-dawes-training.mykajabi.com/make-an-impact. Alternatively, all 8 are available in an 8-part audio programme where all 8 are covered in detail by our founder, Chris Dawes, which can be listened to on your computing or mobile (incl. via the app) devices.
The download is one of the free resources as part of our new online, on-demand training portal - Communication Skills that Remove Limits - which offers the learner a whole suite of tools to become fully proficient and confident at public speaking and delivering presentations or training.
The Open Dawes On-Demand training portal combines both online and interactive to ensure the personal touch despite being carried out in your own time. It is comprised of video and audio modules, downloads, practical exercises, exclusive access to an Academy Facebook group for ongoing support and discussions, post-course feedback, ongoing webinars and support, and 12 months access to return to the training and exercises.
It’s delivered through a student dashboard, with completion certificates provided (including CPD). Ongoing private mentoring can also be added (or included in the Pro-Package).
For more information, have a look at the various ways to connect with us and our material - Connect with Open Dawes Training
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