Why is it important?
Imagine starting a talk by tripping up or stuttering and forgetting your words. How do you feel for the rest of the presentation?
More than likely it would be an uphill battle! For both you and the audience to maintain focus. So unsurprisingly how you start or open any talk directly influences how that presentation will go. A strong opening wins an audience and a weak opening risks losing them. This is because a good opening connects the speaker with an audience and tells them what to expect. They are sacrificing their own time, it is likely they do not really know you so it makes sense to connect with them and I would using the old adage SHOW and Tell them what you are about to Tell them! ”
If you feel anxiety when having to speak in public, the ability to open your talk well eases self-consciousness and decreases Speaker anxiety levels. The better the opening the more you relax and enter your “speaking-flow” state – more about this later!
What do we mean by the term; “Opening”
The short answer is for the opening part is of course what you say and importantly what you do in the beginning! What happens at the start will therefore open your speech, presentation or talk.
As mentioned earlier how you open can define the direction you take your audience. At a deeper level the opening can be thought of as earning the “Licence to Speak.” In other words, earning the audiences buy-in before you speak.
The opening of a talk must therefore connect, grab attention, create intrigue and interest in what you are about to say. The licence to speak primes your audience for what you are about to share and condition them to receive it better. When done well it will increase the probability of compliance with any calls to action you may have.
Opening a Business Presentation/ Signature Talk.
Generating revenue from a talk is significantly more complex and maybe best explained through the analogy of film. If you watch an excellent film trailer it is likely to peak your interest enough to watch the actual film when it is released. How does it create interest? What helps you maintain focus and consume the trailer?
The answers to these questions also explain how we should open a business presentation. Your ability to start well means being able to create excitement, energy, intrigue, share direction and an overview, set ground rules, expectations and even establish compliance patterns. All this done well at the beginning will bear great fruit towards the end.
The art of opening a presentation and specially a business presentation is more complex than may appear at first sight. If the purpose of your Business Presentation is to influence, generate leads, prospects or convert, openings you can see clearly that you require further planning, skill and execution.
If you would like to find out more about our coaching on How To Open a Business Presentation – email us at [email protected] quote ref: opening a presentation.