Yes, there are some bad ways to start a presentation that can turn off your audience and decrease your chances of delivering a successful presentation. Here are some examples:
- Starting with an apology: Starting your presentation with an apology can set a negative tone and give the impression that you are unprepared or lack confidence.
- Starting with a joke that is offensive or inappropriate: Starting with a joke can be a good way to break the ice and engage your audience, but it’s important to choose a joke that is appropriate for the context and audience. Jokes that are offensive or inappropriate can be off-putting and disrespectful.
- Starting with a long-winded introduction: Starting with a long-winded introduction that goes off-topic can lose your audience’s attention and make it harder to engage them with your main message.
- Starting with a generic or boring statement: Starting with a generic or boring statement, such as “Good morning, I’m here to talk to you today about…” can fail to capture your audience’s attention and interest.
- Starting with a controversial or polarizing statement: Starting with a controversial or polarizing statement can create tension and distraction, which may overshadow your main message and prevent your audience from focusing on your presentation.
To make a strong start to your presentation, it’s important to engage your audience’s attention and interest right from the beginning. You can do this by using a story, a surprising fact, a thought-provoking question, or an interesting quote that relates to your main message.
For further discussion on public speaking, speech development, communication skills and Toastmasters, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Blow Your Own Horn!: Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
The Power of Promotion: Online Marketing For Toastmasters Club Growth
The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.