Presentation Openers to Get Their Attention
October 24, 2018 by Scott Graham

When you give a presentation, are you truly taking advantage of your opening remarks?

You have the highest amount of interest at the beginning and the end of your presentation, which means that you must open and close with memorable techniques.

Here are just a few tried and trusted methods to reel in your audience from the very beginning:

  • Try Storytelling – One of the most useful and easiest speaking tools is the art of storytelling. Opening with a story can be one of the most effective methods of getting people involved and engaged with what you have to say. Try telling an anecdotal story that the audience will connect with or even a personal story about yourself. This method will also help relieve some of the pressure on you to make a big opening.
  • Ask Rhetorical Questions – A favorite method among presenters is asking a series of rhetorical questions to stimulate the audience’s mind as they consider them. This succession of questions will guarantee that the audience keeps listening, because they want to know the answers.
  • Use the Unexpected – Get creative when it comes to opening with an attention-grabber. You could do anything from bringing out a prop to using silence before a quote as your method of choice. Simply choose an unexpected element that will make your audience want to learn more during the rest of your presentation.
  • Make Eye Contact – When you are ready to begin, pause for a few seconds to take a moment to make purposeful eye contact with a few audience members, and then start to speak. This may feel very dramatic to you, but will be just enough drama to be effective and draw the attention of the audience members. It will also reaffirm your confidence and certainty as a presenter.
  • Don’t Overthink It – Presenters often spend too much time on the openings themselves and run out of time at the close. The belief that you do not have enough material to fill the entirety of the presentation time, only to end up running out of time at the end is a common phenomenon that many presenters face. Instead, be time-conscious with your opening and do not make it too much of a time-eating production.

Remember to take the time to think about what will really have an effect on the specific audience. Consider what will engage them from the start and hold their attention throughout the entire time you are speaking.

Would you like to learn more about making impactful presentations? At Communispond, we are proud to offer our Executive Presentation Skills training seminars to help participants gain the skills required to give impactful, engaging, and meaningful presentations.