How To Start A Presentation

how to start a presentation

If you have ever delivered a presentation before you’ll know it can be quite a daunting task.  Often when we are asked to do a presentation, we can feel nervous, stressed and worried.  This post looks at How to Start a Presentation Effectively.

Nerves tend to get the better of us right at the beginning of the presentation.  We ask ourselves ‘will they like it’ or ‘will they get it’ and self-doubt starts to creep in.

Having the start of your presentation mapped out correctly, and structured well will not only help you concentrate more on your actual presentation, but will help to quickly engage your audience.

Here are some things that you can do to effectively start your presentation and ensure that your presentation has impact.

The main thing to do is to use the INTRO  acronym.

INTRO stands for Interest, Need, Title, Range, Objectives and here is what it all means.

Interest – Think of something that you can do at the beginning of your presentation.  You want something that captures the imagination of your audience – maybe tell a story or some appropriate humour.  You want the audience to sit up and listen and engage with you before you even get to the main content.

Need – Why does your audience need to be there?  What are the reasons why you have decided to do a presentation?  Once of the main reasons why people don’t engage well with presenters is that they don’t always clearly understand why they are there.  Ensure you describe an issue or the reasons why people need the information you are about to give them.

Title – Give your presentation a catchy title.  Sometimes avoiding the obvious can generate more interest.  So for example ‘A Talk About Sales Figures’ won’t keep people guessing as to the content of your presentation, people may have already made up their mind whether they are going to listen to you.

Range – Is simply and agenda (agenda doesn’t fit into INTRO).  Ensure that your presentation has a clear agenda or list of items you are going to cover.

Objectives – What the objectives of the presentation.  Help people to see what they will know, understand, be able to do etc. after they have received your information.

Using INTRO can help massively with the start of your presentation, reduce nerves and quickly engage people into your presentation.

Here’s an example of a ‘different’ presentation that uses INTRO.  This is Ling Valentine, North East business woman and star of Dragon’s Den (note has a little bad language).  Click here to see the video.

What do you think?  What do you do to start your presentations?

If you would like more help with starting a presentation, INTRO or any other aspect of delivering effective presentations, why not attend one of our Presentation Skills Training Courses.  

Click here for information on our Presentation Skills Training Courses.