Did you know that you have only seven seconds in which to engage your audience and up to 30 seconds before they decide whether to keep listening to you.* So if you want your message heard you must start strong.
Have you ever started your presentation with a script that runs something like:
‘Good morning. Thanks for coming. Sorry we are starting a bit late due to the traffic which delayed some people. Can everyone hear me?’ Etc. etc.
A nice, warm start – but not attention grabbing. Before you know it half the room are engrossed in one of numerous attractions offered by their smartphones. You’ve lost them.
Instead, consider opening with a question. Something to make people sit up and think. Something that will spark their curiosity and interest in what is to come. Simple questions such as:
- Did you know…?
- Why do you think that …(quote a fact)?
- What would be the one really useful thing that you could take away from this meeting today?
- Have you considered that…(something provocative or controversial)?