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Why is this not a good opening sentence?
- Everyone does it, so it´s boring.
- 99% of the people in the room know who you are and what you are going to talk about. It was stated in the program, in the invitation or maybe someone even introduced you on stage.
- with all the stimulus we receive, every time it’s harder to catch the attention of people. You have only seconds to convince the audience that it’s interesting for them to listen to you. If not, they’ll turn to their smart phones or they´ll start thinking about tomorrow’s meeting. Be sure to start your presentation off strong.
So, what is a good opening then? Three ideas:
- start with a surprising fact: “Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that were alive will be death from the food that they eat” – Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food
- start with a question: “why do so many people reach success and then… fail?” Richard St John, Success is a continuous story
- start with a personal story – Brene Brown, The power of Vulnerability
Now you might think these are great ideas, but not suitable for the presentation of your science project or the client´s proposal. Why not? Start with the particular problem of the client, with a surprising statistic found in your investigation or with a question to the audience. You have to get the public on board for the rest of your presentation.
How do you start your presentation?
Image: Ambro – Free Digital Photos