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Why the beginning of your presentation is critical, and how you can improve it?

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Why is the beginning of your presentation critical?

The old saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” The same principle applies to presentations. The beginning of your presentation is critical in setting the tone and direction for the rest of the session. It is important to set expectations and draw the audience in and keep them engaged. When done effectively, it keeps the audience attentive and increases their thoughtfulness throughout your presentation. For this reason, you must plan carefully and formulate an enticing introduction that will capture people’s attention.



The beginning of your effective presentation is by far the most critical section. It sets the tone for the entire session and decides how it’s going to be perceived by your audience. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that this section of your presentation captures their attention and initiates the discussion.

A good start can help you set the room’s mood while giving context and interest in what you have to share later on. When crafting a memorable beginning to your PowerPoint presentation, it would be best to consider some things, such as delivering enthusiasm, giving interesting facts, developing a strong theme, or connecting with an audience member.


What Makes A Good Presentation Intro?

Presenters who are strong in openings set the stage for what’s to follow. Your presentation should be worth listening to. They will decide within the first minute whether your presentation is worth their time. It’s always a good idea not to know what you will get. Research has shown that we pay less attention to what happens after we know what to expect, such as flipping the switch to turn on the light. Contrarily, we pay less attention when we don’t know what we can expect. These are some ideas to include an intriguing and unexpected introduction at the start of your presentation.


Make a bold claim

Consider Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. It starts with the words, “I am glad to join you today [in what will be] the greatest demonstration of freedom in our nation’s history.” This is quite bold and impressive. After such an opening, the audience was compelled to pay close attention. Your claim should be stated boldly and confidently at the beginning. Let your audience know what you have to offer. They will hold on to every word of your presentation after that statement.


Use a Statistics

Never underestimate the power numbers can have on your audience. If they are delivered well, they can dramatically affect the audience. Unusual or surprising statistics can grab attention and captivate the audience. The more bizarre and shocking the statistic, the better.


Tell A Story

Storytelling is one of the most effective and traditional ways to connect with your audience. A good story is what people love, and it’s a great way to start a presentation. Stories are powerful because they inspire, delight, and intrigue people and make the topic more relatable.


Stimulate Curiosity

Inspiring curiosity is one of the best ways to start a presentation. Research shows that curiosity is a key ingredient in learning. This is important for presenters because it will help your audience listen and retain information. Our curiosity gets piqued, and we want to find out the answer. So we pay more attention to learning. How can curiosity be stimulated? Start by sharing a secret; you must reveal or describe someone you have met without revealing their name. Even better, you could experiment on stage and let the audience guess what you’re doing. These are all entertaining and interesting options that will keep the audience interested in figuring out the answers.



What is the correct way to start a PowerPoint Presentation?

Let’s assume you have all your slides ready to go. The storyline and the agenda of your presentation are essential. Your main ideas are broken down into smaller statements that can be used as slides. Visuals can then be added to the slides. You only need to decide how to present.

It is essential to appeal to specific emotions within your audience, such as curiosity, fear, surprise, or good-old humor. Here’s how you do it.


The Classic Trick: Start with an Introduction

If you feel like you need to reinvent it, try a classic trick: start with a brief introduction. You don’t want you “Hi, John, and I’m the head of the Customer Support Department” to sound boring. You don’t want to sound as boring as everyone else with your humble “Hi, and I’m John, the head of the Customer Support Department”?


Open with Hook

You can amaze your audience by sharing something that they didn’t expect. Although this is a popular tip for first presentations, please don’t rush to forget it.

Here’s the truth: We are more likely to pay attention psychologically when presented with unexpected cues. We pay less attention to what happens next when we know what the outcome will be – like when someone flips the switch and lights turn on.

We pay more attention to what happens next when we don’t know what the next step will be – such as when someone flips the switch, a bell rings, and a bell begins to ring. Words are the same: Everyone loves stories with unexpected twists. Start your presentation by creating a PowerPoint slide that introduces the topic or with a line that nobody expects to hear.


Start with a Captivating Visual

Appealing visuals are the ABCs of presentation design. Use them strategically to create a strong stamen at the start and throughout your presentation. You can leave the text off your first slide. Instead of using text, communicate your ideas with a visual – a photo or chart, an infographic, or another graphic asset.

Visuals can be used to communicate effectively, as the brain takes only 13 milliseconds to render what we see. Text comprehension requires more cognitive effort.

Relevant images can add visual appeal to your deck and boost the imagination of your audience, making your key message instantly more memorable.


The Power of Silence

What would you do if the speaker remained silent for thirty seconds after the presentation started? The presenter was alone, standing in silence in front of the audience.

Your mind will likely start racing, anticipating something essential to be revealed. This effect can be surprising because it forces us to recognize things we take as a given.

Following a fact can be a powerful tool to introduce a product and begin an inspiring presentation.


Surprise the audience.

This hook is similar to the two previous presentation starters. It involves making a paradigm-shifting or counter-intuitive statement that challenges a popular belief or shocks because of the apparent impossibility.

Jane McGonigal, a game designer, introduces the topic with an almost unbelievable statement. Most people will listen to you for your entire talk if they are not interested in the topic, but at least to appease their doubts.

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