As a presenter, you will never have another chance to make that first impression. Your audience will decide in the first 2 minutes whether they are going to take you seriously or not. That’s why it’s vital that you focus your attention on winning over your audience in those crucial first 2 minutes. While the remaining content of your presentation is important, if your audience is not paying attention, none of it really matters.
With that in mind I have put together 4 ways to leverage those 2 minutes and win over your audience immediately.
Share a shocking statistic.
Opening your presentation with a shocking statistic can quickly engage your audience and get them intrigued about your presentation. In order to use this tactic effectively, your statistic must be surprising and relevant to your remaining content. If the statistic is not clearly relevant to the remaining presentation, you run the risk of your audience feeling confused or misinformed when you share the bulk of your message.
Start with a story.
Stories have a way of connecting with your audience on a personal level. They create an environment that makes your audience feel at home and comfortable. They are also proven to increase information retention in your audience. By opening your presentation with a story, you will create an emotional response that your audience will continue to feel as you share your data. It will, in essence, help bring your data to life throughout your entire presentation.
Open with quote.
Opening with a quote will help immediately build credibility and show your audience that you are well-informed and have done your research. It’s important to use a quote that is inspiring or thought-provoking to get your audience thinking right away. Bonus point if you can find a quote that is well-known as your audience will have no problem latching onto a concept or emotion they already know.
Paint a preferred future.
This tactic allows you to paint a preferred future for your audience by showing them that there is an exciting opportunity that they can be part of. Then, when you get into your content, unpack how you will arrive at that preferred future. By starting with the preferred future, you elicit hope out of your audience and inspire them to work toward that future with you.
First impressions matter. With such a small window to draw in your audience and convince them that the next few minutes will be worth their time, it’s important that you leverage every second. By using one of these 4 tactics, you are equipped to not just win their respect but also their trust and undivided attention.