Imagine if by developing one skill, you could grow your revenue by 10%.
You would want to know what that one skill is, right?
The opening sentence arouses curiosity.
It is just as powerful when giving presentations, yet most speakers spend entirely too little time on their opening few lines.
This is a mistake because you’ll miss an opportunity to draw in your listeners.
And because people are most likely to recall the first and last 30 seconds of your presentation.
Spend at least 30 minutes considering various openings and try them out on a colleague or family member.
Here are six different methods you can use to open strong:
Cite a fact. Starting with a powerful quote can really get your audience thinking. For example: Road congestion costs American drivers an estimated $101 billion annually in wasted time and fuel OR Global sea level is projected to rise 1 to 4 feet by the year 2100.
Tell a story. Stories universally resonate. Starting with one will draw the audience into you and instantly make them interested in your presentation.
Ask a question. Example: “Have you ever bombed in a presentation but couldn’t figure out why?”
Make a provocative statement. Example: “This project is likely to fail.” [You could go on to use your presentation to help them understand what they can do to ensure success rather than failure.]
Say, “Imagine if…” Example: “Imagine if you could triple your proposal win rate.” People want to hope and dream. They also like to create the future they desire. Very powerful opening.
Give a quotation. Example: A centuries old Chinese curse goes like this, “May you live in interesting times.” Be sure to select a quote that ties into your presentation theme and call to action.
Imagine if I told you that by improving your presentation skills you could help grow your business by 10%.
Would you relentlessly try to develop your speaking skills?
See how that works?
I hope your answer is yes.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE
Author of Engineer Your Own Success
Co-Host of The Civil Engineering Podcast
This post is an excerpt from The Seller-Doer Academy for Civil Engineers course entitled Effective Presentations that Inform and Persuade. If you are interested in the Seller-Doer Academy for Civil Engineers please contact us.