You only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention at the beginning of your presentation. If you want them to listen as you go through the presentation, you must start strong.
This is particularly important when your presentation is not the only one your audience has seen or heard that day. You may be presenting to an audience that is already tired and bored, so you must spark interest.
Use your opening line to really shock or surprise people, and you’re bound to keep them fascinated until the end. Put some thought into how you will command attention straight away. If you’re at a loss for what to do, consider these ideas for starting your presentation strong.
A hook is something that will surprise your audience and keep them hanging on your every word. It can be a single image, a sentence, a short video, etc. As long as it grabs attention, it’ll qualify as a hook.
Try using a statistic, asking a thought-provoking question, sharing an emotional video, or showing an eye-opening photo to startle your audience. The more interesting or surprising your hook is, the faster they'll give you their whole attention.
Visual media has become increasingly popular for a reason. Modern humans are visual creatures, and a single frame can be enough to make people want to hear what you have to say. You just need the right visual to capture the audience’s attention. Work with a freelance presentation designer to establish an attractive hook to start your slide deck with. Not only will they help you grab your audience’s initial attention, they’ll provide cohesive, engaging slides for the rest of your presentation, too.
Who doesn’t love a good story? Beginning a presentation with a short story to introduce your idea is a terrific way to grab attention. You can use something interesting from history, an example of what you’re about to talk about, or any other fascinating tidbit that relates to your key messages.
It’s human nature to need a conclusion to a story, and you can leverage this in your presentation. Start with a story, an idea, or even a problem, but don’t give the solution immediately. Promise that your presentation will solve the mystery you present if they pay close attention.
If you’ve ever been drawn in by clickbait titles, you know these provoke curiosity. People click through because they need to know what the answer is! Your presentation can do something similar. Unlike clickbait, you’ll provide the answer before they get frustrated and leave. Giving your audience a tease at the start can keep people listening.
Quotes can be a powerful start to any speech or presentation, whether you recite it or incorporate it into a graphic. Either option works well to get people thinking and to introduce your topic, provided you have selected the right quote.
Choose a popular quote with a little-known backstory, a foreign quote that you can translate and expound upon, or something else that offers extra context.
Make sure your audience has a captivating, clear slide deck to follow as you make your presentation. At Kristian Olson Art & Design, we strive to help you get your message across while keeping your audience engaged.
I have over twenty five years of experience in visual communication, and I’m well-practiced in creating modern, impactful slides. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can take your upcoming presentation to the next level!
Ask questions. Get a quote. You know what to do.