Tired of people looking at their phones while you talk? Learn how to start a presentation so your audience pays attention immediately.
It’s possible that people now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. The average goldfish pays attention for eight seconds, while modern consumers may lose interest in just seven seconds. Knowing how to start a presentation can decide whether audience members pay attention or play with their cell phones.
Do you want your presentations to hold the attention of your audience from start to finish? Here are seven amazing ways to start a presentation.
1. Attention-Grabbing Images
Grab the attention of your audience with a picture of something they’d like to be a part of. Image via Jacob Lund.
Humans are visual creatures. A perfect picture is impossible to ignore, capturing the attention of every member of the audience instantly. Even better, powerful photographs appeal to the mind and the heart simultaneously.
If you’re trying to convince someone to purchase airline tickets, which introduction do you think is more effective? One showing endless statistics, or one that opens with photos of lush jungles and happy families having fun on the beach?
2. Immersive Video
Lure the audience’s attention with a captivating video. Image via hxdyl.
Videos have incredible emotional impact. They can be energetic, happy, relaxing, empowering, even or romantic. This lets you craft a story that draws your audience in. Viewers can feel the excitement of traveling in a fast sports car (for themselves) or recall fond memories.
To maximize the success of your presentation, choosing the right video is essential. Look for something directly related to your topic that delivers an interesting hook in the first seven to twelve seconds.
3. Wow Statements
Provide an exceptional, or even shocking, statement right off the bat. Image via Gorodenkoff.
An interesting fact can help you jump-start your presentation, but only if it’s something exceptional. Run-of-the-mill facts won’t do the trick. You need statements that shock, surprise, or make people want to learn more.
Here are a few examples:
Ninety-five percent of teens use a smartphone.Seventy-five percent of women prefer shopping online.Most children learn to use the internet at age four.
At the same time, be careful not to crowd the screen with too many facts. To capture interest, limit yourself to a maximum of two or three statements, preferably accompanied by icons or vector art.
4. Interesting Questions
Perk up the audience with impactful questions. Image via fizkes.
Questions are extremely useful for a group presentation introduction. They make people think, pulling them away from other distractions. How can you come up with good questions?
First, you need to understand the main point of your presentation. What’s your goal? Why should listeners care about it? Once you know the answer, you’re ready to create an awesome question.
Here are a few examples:
For employees: What are the best ways to stay safe when using ladders?For busy parents: Is there a way to keep kids from getting sick so often?Lastly, for clients: How much money should you invest in eCommerce marketing?
5. Audience Participation
Inviting people to participate in the discussion is extremely effective. For example, during a training presentation, you could ask participants for the most common obstacles to achieving a certain goal. Make sure to offer positive reinforcement when someone gives the answer you’re looking for.
6. High-Quality Charts and Infographics
Make your infographics colorful, to draw the eye. Image via Nazarii M.
Another visual tool that holds the audience’s attention are charts and infographics. Infographics tell a story, share practical tips, make people want to learn more, and contain tidbits of information that are easy to remember. The key to attention-grabbing charts is to select colorful, simple, attractive vector images.
7. Humorous Images and Jokes
Come on! A raccoon in space? Dressed as an astronaut? That’s funny. Image via Sonsedska Yuliia.
Depending on your focus and audience, some humor may be exactly what you need to help people relax and guarantee they pay attention throughout your presentation. Funny videos, memes, and jokes that your audience understands have a tremendous effect. Just remember to keep things short and sweet.
These techniques on how to start presentation speeches work for delivering sales pitches, showing ideas to investors, or explaining complex topics. In every case, your goal is to appeal to the audience on a personal level. For photos and videos with an impact, make sure to check out the Shutterstock library.
For more presentation tips and advice, check out these articles:
Cover image via Rawpixel.com.
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