The beginning of a presentation can be a make or break moment in any presentation. So to get the beginning right is very important.
Like “chat up” lines the more complicated, the bigger the chances it will not work. I would always recommend that you use a simple beginning.
“Good morning, everyone and thank you for coming”
You could then continue and introduce yourself.
“my name is Carl Pullein and I am the Academic Director at the Songpa BCM Language Institute in Seoul”
Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen has a fantastic beginning to his presentations.
Above is a video of Garr at the Synergy Conference earlier this year. Garr uses images from his life, his environment and it tells his audience much more about himself than just standing up with a list of bullet points on the screen behind him.
I also love the way that he uses a little animation to say “thank you” (you will catch all this in the first 5 minutes of the video, but to be honest, you can learn an awful lot by taking 45 minutes out to watch the whole video.
The next stage of the presentation is to tell your audience what you are going to talk about, and how long your presentation will last. For example:
“I’m going to divide my talk into 3 parts – First I will …… then I will …. finally I will …. I expect to be talking for about 45 minutes”
A quick tip: Dividing your talk in to three things is a great number. It is not always possible to do this, but the human mind works much better when it has to organise in threes.
So, getting the beginning right, will set up the rest of your presentation. So when you are planning your presentation, think about how you will begin your presentation, how long the beginning will last, and how can you capture your audience’s attention.