30 Nov The first words of your presentation
I discovered a new way to help speakers with the introduction of their presentation. The problem is that most speakers just don’t think of their first words and then they switch to an automatic pilot saying ‘today I am going to talk to you about…’. Now what is the problem with this sentence? You are answering the wrong question! You tell your audience what you are going to do while they already know that because there is an agenda or someone introduces you.
So what should you do instead? Answer the WHY. Why you are there and even more important why the audience should listen to you. What’s in it for them! You can answer the WHY from the very first minute by offering them a context and the easiest way to do that is by telling a story. But people seem to think then I refer to personal stories and that is not what I am talking about. Just imagine it like this: put your presentation on a time line. The moment you are doing your presentation you are in the NOW moment. But when you prepare your presentation just go back on that timeline. It can be a day back, a week back, a month back, even 10 years back. Go back to an event you can talk about that can help you to bridge to the NOW moment. You can talk about a conversation you had with a colleague during a meeting or even at the coffee machine. It can be an experience with a customer. It can be an article you read. It can be a previous meeting where someone said something that is valuable to refer to as it helps you to bridge to the NOW moment.
So from now on, be very conscious of the business stories around you because they are seldom told and a presentation is the ideal situation to reveal them. Plus, it is an easy start for you being the speaker because you don’t have to memorize the introduction. You just go back in time and talk from your memory.
Enjoy your next presentation!