Chris Croft
Tips of the Month Archive

Presentation Skills Tip 6


Overcoming nerves

Microsleeps and what you can do about them

Making your presentation interactive

Adjusting your timing

Powerpoint pros and cons

Making your talk interactive

Powerpoint what could go wrong?

Powerpoint advanced tips


Your opening minute

How to remember your talk

Three things to consider when you're planning the start of your talk:

1. What can you ask them at the start, to make the talk interactive?

For example, if your talk is about the new IT system (exciting!) you could ask them how much they know about it already. If your talk is about the fact that there aren't enough social workers to cope with the new legislation (probably true!) you could ask them if they know about the new legislation. This gets them involved, and also helps you assess the level needed.

2. How can you answer the question "What's in it for me?" that every person in the audience is asking themselves as you start to talk?

In the above examples it might be "I'm, going to show you how the new IT system will help you in your work" and "Do any of you have elderly relatives?" or "How many of you are planning to become old at some point?" (I rather like this last one!)

3. You might want to have an intriguing start, to get them hooked. In fact, the 'becoming old' one would do this too. Alternatively you could have started with "I want to spend 15 minutes telling you about a huge crisis that's looming, which will affect us all, and which nobody knows anything about yet". For the IT talk you could start with the same (no - just kidding!) or maybe "Here are three things you didn't know about the new IT system"

if you do these three you'll get off to a great start and the rest of your talk will be easy!

have fun!

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