It’s vital that the first moments of your presentation grab your audience’s attention. Not only does a great introduction provide an overview of what will be discussed, but it should also convince the audience that your presentation will be relevant. So how can you prepare an introduction that’s exciting and intriguing? Read on!

1. Ask a Question
Ask either a rhetorical question or one that seeks a response from the audience. If you want the audience to respond, make it easy for them to do so. Ask a question that can be answered with a yes or no, or call for a show of hands. For example, "How many of you are tired of unproductive and inefficient meetings?"

2. State a Fact
Begin with a fact or statistic that supports the topic of your presentation. For example, if your topic is the importance of meeting efficiency you could use a statistic such as, "Most professionals attend a total of 61.8 meetings per month and research indicates that over 50 percent of this meeting time is wasted."

3. Tell a Joke
However, be sure that the joke is appropriate! If you have any doubts, select another joke or a different method. Also be sure that the joke is relevant to your topic and the speaking situation.

4. Tell a Relevant Story
Everyone loves a well-told story, especially a personal story that relates an experience you had with some aspect of the topic being discussed. People are drawn to hearing about the experiences of others, and stories provide an opportunity for the audience to get to know you.

5. Use a Quotation
With the help of the Internet, it’s easy to find a quote for just about any topic.

6. Make an Emphatic Statement
A powerful statement captures the attention of your audience and sets a dynamic tone for your presentation. For example, "It’s time to take control of your unproductive meetings. Refuse to let them eat away at your bottom line any longer!"

No matter which type of introduction you select, make it enthusiastic! If you’re interested in what you’re saying, the audience will have a reason to be. And remember to practice your introduction several times before presentation day because, as they say, you won’t get a second chance to make a great first impression.

 


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