The first few minutes of a presentation usually make the difference between success and failure. Whenever I plan a presentation, I reach into the drawer under my desk. In it is a list »Introductions for presentations« that I have compiled over many years. It contains ideas for getting a good start to a perfect presentation. In this post, I want to share those ideas with you and help you find some inspiration for getting started with your presentation.
List of Introductions for presentation
- Tell a story of your own or someone else’s that fits your topic
- Start with a behind-the-scenes look
- Make a statement at the very beginning of your presentation
- Start with a scientific finding
- Theme the place you are in right now
- Survey the audience
- Open your presentation with a quote
- Give your audience a riddle
- What is your audience’s biggest problem right now?
- Introduce your presentation with a guessing question
- Respond to the previous speaker, if there was one
- What connects you to the audience
- Make a joke about yourself
- Talk about today’s topic
- Refer to your presentation title
- A rhetorical question
- Magic trick
- Mention a historical event
- Tell a fairy tale
- Justify your own presence
- Ask a joke question
- Start with a slogan
- Start with a fancy term
- Is there a good comparison?
- Start with a technical effect
- Start your presentation with a video or a slideshow
- Ask the audience
- Could you start your presentation with a numbers game?
- Change a well-known saying so that it fits your presentation
- Read something aloud
- Reveal a secret
- Start with a foreign language
- Open your presentation with a personal thought
- Start with a provocation (for brave speakers)
- Say the opposite to start your presentation
I have compiled this list over the years. Everyone has their own personal preferences and of course the introductions to the presentation need to be adapted to the audience.
There is a second list of Introductions for presentations
My second list is not a source of inspiration but a warning list of beginnings of a presentation that should be avoided in any case. I will gladly send you this list by e-mail. This list will protect you from starting the first minutes of your presentation wrong and thus endangering your whole presentation.
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