How to Start a Presentation to Engage your Audience

15 Best Investor Pitch Deck Examples from Successful Startups

How to Start a Presentation to Engage your Audience
July 13, 2022

Pitching a presentation in a closed group or before a crowd is pretty common nowadays, especially in the work environment. Experts might be required to pitch detailed presentations, like a new marketing record presentation, sales pitch, or logical research results. 

Irrespective of the content of your presentation, you must create an appealing introduction to seize the attention and interest of your spectators at the start of your presentation. 

In this piece, we'll elucidate the importance of having a solid start for a presentation and ways to begin a presentation, including some examples and guidelines to help you start.

What is the importance of knowing how to start a presentation?

Knowing the specific ways to begin a presentation is vital to giving an efficient discussion or speech. To have your audience’s attention/interest and assist them in focusing, you should come up with an engaging introduction to your presentation. 

Your introduction to your presentation can help your audience to grasp the goal of your speech/presentation. When presenting before an unfamiliar spectator, it is crucial as well as a chance to introduce yourself; this will help create a connection between you and your audience. 

What do you write at the beginning of a presentation?

The central message ought to be the subject matter all through your speech. But it ought also to be predominantly highlighted at the start and at the end. If you should put a pin on those parts(the beginning and end), the rest may just fall into place. The introduction and conclusion are vital structures of your speech, so ensure they’re phenomenal.

Furthermore, read further if you are searching for ways or guidance on how to begin and conclude a presentation. 

How do you greet in a presentation, and How do you begin a speech?

  • Thank/Appreciate your audience

A real show of appreciation is an effective method when considering ways to start a presentation. It also depicts genuineness and inspires a welcoming feel amongst your audience. Your audience will pay more attention to someone who has shown them an appreciation for being present at the occasion/meeting. 

  • Engage them in some frolic activity

Other ways to lighten up your audience so that you can help them pay more attention to you is by engaging them in games, dance, or songs. You can also tell them to stand up and loosen up and tell them to shake hands with other participants in the hall/room. This way, your audience will be grateful for the short break, especially if they have been sitting down for an extended period.  

  • Create a captivating first line 

The introduction of any speech is the most crucial aspect. That is the reason why you should ensure that it catches the attention and interest of your listeners. Spend effective time writing, proofreading, and editing your introduction. After that, spend adequate time memorizing it off hand. Memorizing it will help build your confidence. 

Even if you try to know your whole presentation, as an expert, relying on your memorized introduction will ease you from any tension before you go head-deep into the presentation. After that, you will have to practice until perfection. Therefore, it is advisable to catch your audience young, i.e., get their attention early on during your presentation.

How to create an engaging introduction?

Your introduction has to start with an appealing statement invented to enflame your listener’s interest. Introduce your topic to them by stating general ideas and facts about the subject matter. Moving deeper into your introduction, you should gradually narrow down your focus, which makes you move closer to your main points. 

  • Introduce yourself to your audience

Introduce yourself and let your audience know why they have come to listen to you and why they should listen to you.

Example: “Good Morning. My name is Beauty, and I am here to tell you about the amazing ways you can make your business thrive with speed.”

  • Share what you want to present

Talk to your audience about your presentation in an organized and succinct manner. Think about the presentation theme and extract some key points that you can explain explicitly as you conclude your presentation. 

  • Let your audience know it is relevant

At the initial(introduction) level, your listeners need to understand the importance of your presentation. It is advisable to include statistics or data to aid an effective message delivery. Also, start with a “Did you know” before stating your research statistics.

  • Tell them a story

Consider telling your audience a short but relevant story before you start your presentation that way, it would have the chance to capture the attention of your audience and engage them. You can as well tell a funny story or a thought-provoking one, but it shouldn’t be more than two minutes. A personal experience can help as well. 

  • Ask for audience participation

You can consider asking your audience an open-ended question(s) so that you can have the opportunity to engage them and also get to know their opinions. That can help you get more ideas about your presentation topic. Remember, you should do this at the introduction level of your presentation so as to get them engaged early.

If you are not sure if this tactic will work, you can practice with your co-worker, friend, or family member. They will be able to give you a genuine feedback on other things like your dress code, gestures, facial expressions, and the best tactic that will work best with your main presentation idea. 

How to prepare for my first presentation

  • Rehearse and rehearse and rehearse again, aloud(always)

Though you might think memorizing your presentation word for word is the right act, it is quite unreliable. However, it is very crucial to rehearse over and over again once you’ve successfully worked out your presentation. Furthermore, if you rely only on memorizing your speech/presentation word for word, you can get stuck in delivering or think that you can deliver your own ideas only, and that shrinks the possibility of being flexible by getting new ideas or thoughts. 

  • Ensure you Memorise your introduction well enough

Irrespective of the meager side-effect of memorizing back to back, it is, however, essential to memorize your introduction/opening line. You will have to begin with a solid line, strong enough to catch your audience’s interest. 

  • Practice with your written notes 

Writing out your presentation in your notepad or sticky notes will aid in clarification regarding your tone, existing ideas, and new ideas. 

  • Practice your presentation flow

You can practice how you want your presentation to flow; in terms of your tone, diction, expression, and movements. You can practice in front of your bathroom mirror or in your car on your way to the grocery store.

  • Have a backup plan

There is no worse situation than for your projector to suddenly go off or for your laptop to refuse linking up with the projector for a reason you can’t just explain. Knowing that you have a standby plan, even if it’s on a notepad or a flip chart, will make you feel unmoved by the situation. 

  • Arrive early

To prepare ahead effectively, it is advisable to arrive early at the location of your presentation. That way, you can effectively organize yourself, do a few more practice and arrange your pieces of equipment and materials before the arrival of your audience. 

  • Practice where you are presenting if you have the chance

If you have the chance, you should try to go to the venue where your presentation will take place and practice your presentation by imagining yourself before your audience. You can walk through the podium and get yourself acquainted with the view and the structure. 

How to start a startup presentation

  • Keep your introduction pitch modest
  • Have a perfect idea of who your audience is
  • You can tell your startup story
  • Manage your time effectively
  • Stay focused
  • Allow potential investors to have a hands-on experience of your product
  • Effectively convey your unique startup’s product value 
  • Be well prepared to support any claims
  • Dress professionally
  • Be passionate about your presentation(startup) 
  • Get an expert to help you edit and refine your startup presentation 
  • Practice, practice, and practice

How to create your own business presentation

  • Make plans

Things won’t go smoothly if you don’t have a plan in place. 

  • Pick a slide deck

Select the suitable slide deck that rhymes with your presentation tone. 

  • Tell a funny story in-between 

Nearly all presenters start with a captivating story; that is why audiences get wrapped up in most presentation series. 

  • Rely on charts and images instead of tables and texts 

To dodge this problem, rely on charts and images at any time possible; by driving home your point, select an image and keep their attention on you. 

  • Slot in audience interaction

Keep the energy up by adding a quick time to engage your audience

Need help with your presentation?

At Slidebean, we consist of a team of professionally trained, diverse, and passionate individuals that are committed to helping and aiding the growth of startups. We’ve been involved in the investor deck writing and design of over 30,000 startups and companies we’ve worked with have raised more than $250 million combined. You can learn how we can help you

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How to Start a Presentation to Engage your Audience
Funmilayo Labulo
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