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The WORST WAYS to Open a Presentation

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Recipes for Disaster

Presentations are an essential part of communication in many business and academic settings. Whether pitching an idea, giving a lecture, or delivering a business proposal. . .

The Way You OPEN YOUR PRESENTATION sets the tone for the entire experience.

Unfortunately, there are certain approaches that can turn your presentation into a complete disaster right from the get-go. In this post, I’ll focus on the absolute worst ways to open a presentation and offer advice on how to avoid them.

Starting with an Apology:

Picture this: you step onto the stage, ready to captivate your audience, and the first words out of your mouth are  – an Apology.

Starting your presentation with phrases like: “I’m sorry I didn’t have enough time to prepare” or “I apologize for not having slides” instantly sets a negative tone. That verbiage undermines your credibility, tells listeners you don’t really care about meeting their expectations, and perhaps suffer from a lack of knowledge and confidence.

Instead, focus on delivering a Strong Opening that grabs the audience’s attention, makes them want to hear more, and leaves no room for apologies.

Reading from Slides Word for Word:

No one comes to read your presentation.

Nothing kills audience engagement faster than a presenter who simply reads the text verbatim from their slides. This approach is lazy, uninteresting, and fails to add any value beyond what the audience can read for themselves.

And because your audience will be reading ahead of you, there will be a disconnect in your reading and them listening.

Instead, use universally understood, high-quality images in your slides. You, the speaker, should provide the text with your voice.

Using Overused and Clichéd Openers:

Starting presentations with clichés and tired phrases like “Webster’s Dictionary defines…” or “Today, I’m going to talk to you about…” is a surefire way to bore your audience and make them tune out. These generic openers lack originality and fail to create any anticipation or excitement.

Instead, strive for an engaging opening that is unique to your topic and resonates with your audience’s interests, needs, or pain points.

The research shows we will do more to avoid pain than seek pleasure. Incorporating “Pain” in your opening will grab and hold the audience’s attention.

The opening of a presentation plays a crucial role in capturing the attention and interest of your audience. By avoiding the worst ways to open a presentation you can set yourself up for a successful talk.

Instead, aim for an engaging, relevant, and memorable opening that sparks curiosity, establishes your credibility, and sets the stage for a captivating presentation.

Do that, and I guarantee your next presentation will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!

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Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Presentations.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!

Services:

Topics:

  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  3. We are All Self-Employed!

Subscribe to my YouTube ChannelPodcast Channel, and connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Audible offers NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!” as an audio book.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about this post or other posts please contact me: Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com.

Thank  you for your continued support. It is greatly appreciated!

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