how to start a presentation

What to do before starting a presentation [VIDEO]

Here's a presentation skill that you can apply before you start your presentation that I'm guessing not enough people apply. In this video you are going to learn what to do before a presentation. Before you start a presentation, there may be sometime as people are entering the room. It's during this time that you have a great opportunity to connect and develop rapport with your audience. This is something I don't think I have ever talked about before, But it can be an effective and powerful way to help your presentation.

https://youtu.be/GL54KjAIuoo

Why do this?

One of the biggest concerns that people have is how to connect with the audience. Of course, you can connect with the audience during the presentation. But if you could establish a connection with your audience before you start the presentation, wouldn't that be awesome?

If you connect with your audience before the presentation, you will feel much more comfortable when delivering your presentation because you kind of know the audience. And vice versa, the audience will feel more connected to you because they already kind of know you, too.

So here are two things you can do to connect with your audience before you start your presentation

1. Greet people as they are coming in

This seems so simple, but most presenters don’t do this because of either a lack of time, or perhaps, nervousness. They are too busy trying to get themselves ready for the presentation!

But if you say hello and welcome people to the presentation as they enter the room, lecture hall or meeting, you immediately establish some rapport with your audience. Doing this also shows that you are confident and looking forward to speaking with your audience.

This also helps you feel more comfortable giving your presentation, because as I mentioned earlier, you and your audience now kind of “know” each other.

2. Talk to people individually

The second step is even more important than the first because you will now approach people in their seats and talk to them. Why? Because it shows that you are genuinely interested in THEM! And as I have said often, the presentation is about them, not you. So talking to people before you start your presentation is a great way to connect with people.

You can ask about where they are from, what other events/presentations they are here for, how they’re doing in school, are they ready for their presentations, etc, etc. There is really no wrong way to do this, except if you are insincere.

And if you can remember people’s names...

BONUS TIP

If you remember people’s names, you can use their name and something they talked to you about in your presentation. This personalises the presentation for that person, builds a stronger bond between you and makes you look very confident, as if you are presenting without a script.

There you go

Hopefully, you now have a good idea about what to do before you start your presentation. Please try those three things I mentioned, and I’m sure you will feel like your presentation was successful because of the connection you felt with your audience. Your audience will feel it, too.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Presentation Quick Tip #7 - 3 Tips For Using Questions To Start A Presentation

In this Presentation Quick Tip #7 video, you'll learn three tips when using a question to start a presentation. Beginning a presentation with a question is a great idea, as my buddy Jonathan Li recommends. However, you need to be aware of what may happen when you open your presentation with a question. So what you'll learn is what can happen and what to do. Please check out the video or skip down and read more on this topic.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Quick Tip #7 - 3 Tips For Using Questions To Start A Presentation

Video length 1:17 (Click CC for captions or read transcript below)  

Here's the thing

There are so many ways to start a presentation. Asking a question is one of the most tried and true methods. However, presenters, especially less-experienced ones, have to be careful because asking a question may not always get you the result you want.

I've seen this many times…

The presenter comes up all ready to go. Slides look nice, the presenter looks fairly confident and the audience is sitting in anticipation. Then the speaker asks a question that he or she has rehearsed and looks out to the audience expecting an answer.

Disaster and panic

Or is that panic and disaster? Either way, what happens next is the audience sits there completely silent. Awkwardness ensues and the speaker asks again. More often than not, our presenter is now frazzled by the experience and is unsure what to do. He or she was going to use the audience's response to segue into the presentation, but the only thing he or she is thinking about is, "Oh crap, now what!?"

Why it happens

Sometimes, people just simply don't know the answer. This can be a good thing because you now have their attention. Sometimes, people are just too shy to answer. This happens a lot in Asian cultures. But something more evil is when people don't want to answer just to see you squirm and get uncomfortable. This can happen if you are being evaluated, like in a sales or investment pitch or if you're speaking to classmates who want to see you get embarrassed. Nasty.

Have no fear, the answer is here

Sorry about the cheesy rhyme. Anyway, to avoid feeling like the temperature suddenly shot up and worrying that your face is now beet red, here are three things to do when using a question to start a presentation…

1. Ask a question, but don't wait too long for an answer

In this case, you can give the answer because people may not know or don't want to answer. Either way, you're not wasting time waiting and it can be an effective way to keep the audience's attention. This works especially well when you are sure they will not know the answer.

2. Ask questions, then ask specific people to answer them

Instead of waiting, just motion or point to someone to answer. This also saves time and it also gets the audience involved. If the first person you ask doesn't know, ask someone else. If nobody knows, great! You have their attention and can now teach them something new.

3. Ask rhetorical questions, questions that make a point and don't need an answer

I like these because they are a great way to get your audience to agree with something you want to say. You can even ask them to raise their hands to say whether they agree or not. One sneaky trick is to use a tag question, something like, "It's nice out, isn't it?" because they always have to agree with what comes before the question. Like I said, sneaky, isn't it? :)

So there you go. Now you know what to do when starting a presentation with a question.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks.

Carl

 

Transcript:

(Wailing)

Bet you thought I was Bruce Lee!

Hi, it's Carl Kwan here and this is Presentation Quick Tip #7.

Now, it's a really good idea to begin your presentations with a question, as my buddy Jonathan Li in Hong Kong recommended.

Now, one thing, though, you do have to be careful of is that sometimes people will not answer because either they don't want to, or because they really don't know the answer.

So there are three things you should do when asking questions.

Number one, ask the question but don't wait too long for an answer.

Number two, ask the question and then point to someone specifically to answer the question for you.

And finally number three, ask a rhetorical question, a question that people already know the answer to.

Then that way, you're not wasting time waiting for people to answer your question, in case they really don't know or they're not being very nice and don't want to answer.

So make sure you do use a question to start your presentations, that's very good, but also be mindful of those three things.

That is Presentation Quick Tip #7.

If you have any questions about this one, please leave them below this video.

Thanks for watching.

Talk to you again soon.

Bye-bye.

Presentation Quick Tip #3 - Start A Presentation With Misdirection

You never get a second chance to make a first impression... Not always true for every situation, but a great start to your presentation can capture your audience's attention and keep them interested throughout. Screw up the beginning and the audience may have a hard time staying alert and following along. So you need to get their attention and here's how.

I guess this could be a little misdirection, like something a magician does. I'll have to ask my friend Charles Greene III, the Presentation Magician.

Anyway, the trick is to start your presentation by telling the audience you will NOT begin with the topic they expect. Instead, you tell them you will begin with something else.

But here's the misdirection…

The other thing you tell them is actually just a better way to tell them about the topic they originally expected. Ideally, you will tell a story that is directly related to your original topic.

To get the full run down, please watch the video or read the video transcript below.

If YouTube is unavailable in your area, please click the following link to watch or right-click to download: Presentation Quick Tip #3 - Start With Misdirection

Length 1:03  

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Carl Kwan here and this is Presentation Quick Tip #3.

In this video, you're gonna learn a great way to start a presentation and get the audience's attention.

So what you're gonna say is, "I was going to tell you about A, but instead, I'm going to tell you about B."

Now B must be related to A and it should also be a kind of a story about A.

So for example, "I was going to tell you about the human genome, but instead, I'm going to tell you a story about a boy who lived down the street from me who was really sick.

So the rest of the story is gonna be how the boy was sick and how the human genome was able to help him.

The human genome project, that is, of course.

So how that was able to help him is gonna be a much more interesting story than just talking about the human genome.

So again, what you'd say is, "I was going to tell you about A, but instead, I'm going to tell you about B."

And that is Presentation Quick Tip #3.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below this video.

Thanks again.

Talk to you again soon. Bye-bye.