Presentation Openers – Make it…break it?

Presentation Openers

Make it…or break it?

Over the past while I’ve had the opportunity of observing a variety of presentations in different settings. Some were delivered at conferences while others were delivered in business or technical situations.

There was a similarity or sameness in the presentations that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Then it came to me when at one conference a series of presenters delivered in a rather rapid fire sequence one right after each other with very little time in between.

The opening of a presentation is usually BORING!

There is no other way to put it. The presentation opening is one the most crucial elements of a powerful presentation. It really came to me when I saw the series of presenters and their openings were almost identical. What made it worse for me was that I found the presenter introductions and bios that were read aloud often more interesting than the presenters themselves…not a good thing!…These are some of the words that came to my mind when I observed their openings.

  • Conventional
  • Ordinary
  • Dull
  • Lifeless
  • A lack of passion
  • Little personality
  • Predictable
  • Safe and cautious
  • Drivel
  • Pointless

Some of you may find those words quite strong. That’s great…because sometimes we have to use strong words to make a strong point. Have I already mentioned how crucial the opening of your presentation is? How it sets the tone…and positions you as an expert in your field?

In 30 seconds or less… grab their attention or walk away!

Here are some simple guidelines to follow in the opening of your next presentation. The first 30 seconds of your presentation your job is to grab their attention, arouse curiosity, break convention or debunk a popular belief. In the first three minutes tell them the promises you will make in the presentation, or simply put, give them what they came for. Finally, when you reach the five-minute mark you will have described in explicit detail, how you will deliver on those promises you just made.

The powerful presenter gets right to the point… right away. Think of yourself as an athlete charging out of the starting gate. Don’t punish me as an audience member and make me wait and wait and wait until you eventually get around to the things I came to hear.

Come out punching… Get to the point…your audience deserves nothing less.

Here’s a much different list of words that come to my mind in powerful and high impact presentation openings…

  • Extraordinary
  • Unconventional
  • Memorable
  • Thought provoking
  • Bold
  • Stimulating
  • Invigorating
  • Startling
  • Challenge of norm
  • Contrary
  • Provocative
  • Bigger than life
  • Flamboyant
  • Unpredictable

Funny to me how it was easier to make this list longer as the words came so easily and I have been an audience member as you have, and we both crave the unexpected.

You now may be thinking, well that’s fine but what would be really helpful is a demonstration that would be hard hitting and relevant for my own presentations.

No problem… I’m way ahead of you.

What I’ve decided to do as a BONUS offer to you as a loyal subscriber and reader of my ongoing presentation rants is to make available a free audio segment Presentation Opener audio lesson.

Special Bonus Audio Free Download – 6 Presentation Opening Techniques
Rare is the occasion that I do this… and after receiving your numerous requests for live demonstrations you can now download my 11 minute MP3 that will give you 6 presentation opening techniques by using only 24 words!

After downloading your bonus MP3, make it a point to listen to it more than once. By listening to it more than once be sure to adjust the volume of your audio speakers to capture the nuances and power of voice inflection for presentation power and purpose.

Claim your 6 Presentation Opening Techniques free download here: Presentation_Openers_Audio_Lesson1.mp3 (Right click to Save As)

If you know of others that would find this audio BONUS helpful…please pass it on. If you have found your subscription to Presentation Power Tips helpful and you are absolutely convinced it would help others… then forward them this link to get their very own private and confidential subscription:

I hope you enjoy my special audio bonus to you in making your next presentation opening… powerful and with high impact.Go back and look at both lists of words again…If I was to put you on a list… what list do you deserve to be on?

Great Presentations!

Richard Peterson, CSP – North America’s Presentation Coach™


Raves: "...the Presenting with Integrity™ program was amazing, I implemented five presentation techniques almost immediately after the program...if I'd of only taken this course years ago ...I can say.... THIS STUFF ACTUALLY WORKS!!!...thanks for the powerful coaching Richard."

- O.C., Manager, Facilities Supplies, MA., Unisource Worldwide Inc.

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