5 Tips To Open A Presentation Professionally

Here is a quiz. How long do you think your audience takes to form an impression about you as a presenter?

a) 1 Hour
b) 20 minutes
c) A few seconds?

The correct answer is option (c). In reality, the audience takes a very short time to form an opinion about you. Within the first 5-6 seconds, they decide if your presentation is going to be useful or not. While you can change their mind with powerful content in the presentation over time, it is a tough task.

So how do you ensure that the audience forms the right opinion about you and gives you the attention you deserve? There are 5 things to keep in mind:

1. Dress professionally: Your attire is one of the first indicators of how serious you are about the presentation. This is why most presenters choose to wear formal clothes for critical client presentations. This ensures that their sales presentation starts off on the right note.

2. Be prepared: Audience takes the cue from how prepared you are at the beginning of the presentation. Have you reached the venue few minutes before the presentation is expected to start? Are the projector and laptop ready to roll before the meeting is expected to start? Have you checked your slides to ensure that they are in order? If you are not ready, audience assume that your company is likely to be disorganized as well.

3. Meaningful opening slide: When you are ready to present, you have your title slide up on the projector. This opening slide is the first thing the audience sees about your presentation. If the presentation template you have selected is not suitable or not connected to the presentation you are going to make, this will confuse the audience. Make sure your first slide conveys what your presentation is about and select a powerful title slide.

4. Welcome: When your audience enters the meeting room, greet them with a smile. They are already ‘in’ the meeting when they enter the room. So a polite welcome, quick handshake and introduction always allows the rest of the presentation to flow smoothly. As a presenter, you also feel less anxious when you have already had a positive interaction with your audience.

5. Open strongly: Finally, practice the start of your presentations thoroughly so that you appear confident. A well-practiced opening ensures that can you look around the room and greet everyone instead of fumbling for words. Start with an unexpected opening if you would like to set yourself apart from your competitors or peers.

Remember, in a good presentation a strong opening is critical for victory. Ensure that you are all set for a powerful presentation by remembering these points.