Too often, a speaker loses his/her audience before he even gets to the core of his speech. In this article, I cover best ways ways to start and end your presentation or speech and I hope that the following comparing scripts help you to create terrific openings and closings to presentations or speeches.
Best Ways to Start and End Your Presentation or Speech
How to Start Your Presentation?
When it comes to starting a presentation, you can say as follow which is completely acceptable, extremely polite and totally predictable.
Hello and thank you so much for having me, I am happy to be here, what a beautiful day it’s and I am so happy to be sharing it with all of you.
The typical opening remarks that most speakers make are benign and boring. They signal to the audience that what they are about to hear is nothing new, or innovative, or even interesting, because even if you’re getting ready to share the most incredible new in modern medicine, you have already lulled your audience into complacency.
How to Capture your Audience’s Attention?
What separates the powerful, passionate introductions from those that are merely polite, it’s about capturing your audience’s attention the moment you begin to speak and then keeping their attention throughout. Along with getting attention, a good opening also establishes your believability and credibility. Within first minute of your presentation, you need to establish why you are the person to be delivering this message to this audience at this time.
How to Introduce Yourself to the Audience?
If you have someone to introduce you to your audience, before you begin to speak, you can have that person highlight your personal and professional credentials, but if it’s left up to you, you might need to list a few carefully selected highlights which can be expressed directly, such as in this example:
I have a nursing degree from the university of Texas and I have spent the past 7 years working in the critical care unit of Texas Lenox Hill Hospital.
You can also share your credential indirectly through storytelling, such as in this example:
Over the past 7 years in my role as a critical care nurse at Lenox Hill hospital, I have seen my share of trials and tribulations, but whether you take a head on approach or more roundabout way. You’ll need to let your audience know the answer to “why you”.
What is in it for Me?
In addition, to getting attention and establishing credibility, your opening also needs to speak to audience’s W.I.I.F.M, that stands for “what is in it for me?” Whether we like to admit it or not, we ‘re all self-interested as listeners.
We pay attention to those things that feel personally and professionally relevant, useful and pressing, and ignore the rest. So a good opening establishes early on what about today’s presentation is going to be relevant, useful, and pressing to this audience.
If the audience isn’t compelled to care, they are going to be looking for their first opportunity to tone you out, and it’s your job to get them interested and invested.
How Much Time Should Your Introduction Take?
When making an introduction, you will want to consider how much time you have. A good guideline is that your introduction should take up about two to three minutes of the presentation time. Especially if you have a significant amount of content to follow.
Identifying Your Audience!
The relationship that you and your audience may or may not have at the start is also a factor for consideration. A smart way to get start is to poll the room, asking how many people NPs, LPNs, Social Workers, or other allied professionals. You might then ask who else is in the room with professions you haven’t mentioned and be welcoming them as well. By knowing who is in the room, you can ensure that your examples and information are aimed at your audience and their clinical expertise.
You also want to think about your audience’s relationship to your topic, not just to you. If your listeners are already positively tending to act on your message, then your introduction can take that into account. If you have a mixed opinion audience, or a resistant audience, you may want to address that upfront such as, “I know that today’s topic may bring up a number of questions from you, and I want to let you know that I will address as many as I can in the time we have today.” That puts the audience cities and when the audience is relaxed, you can relax too.
Natural Styles to Start Your Presentation!
Finally, you want to consider your natural style when planning an introduction. Here are some possible ways to start your presentation off on the right foot, no matter what the topic is.
Ask a question-either one that calls for a response, or a rhetorical once. Asking the audience, a question forces them to start thinking. It’s creating an opening that they want and need to fill. Use today’s date.
If you happen to be speaking on the anniversary of 9/11, you need to acknowledge it. If you happen to be speaking on the day before everyone is leaving for thanksgiving vocation, you need to acknowledge it.
When there’s something generally known about today’s date, your introduction provides and appropriate opportunity for you to address something that you and your audience share which is exactly how you can build rapport.
I can tell you that setting high expectations at the beginning of your presentation is the key to establishing rapport, connection and credibility with your audience, and once you get them rooting, the rest of your presentation or speech will go a lot more smoothly.
How to End Your Presentation?
Of course, all good things must come to an end, and your conclusion is where you make sure, that you have left your audience feeling positive and with a clear call to action. A great conclusion recaps the main points of your presentation, brings the topic to a natural satisfying close.
Includes a call to action when appropriate, and lets the audience know once and for all that you and they are done. Too often we put plenty of time in thought into our introductions and the body of our presentation or speech, but we don’t plan for our warp up.
Sometimes we run out of time or energy in the planning phase and this bleeds into the presentation where we simply run out of time or energy in the delivery. Isn’t it embarrassing to have put so much work into your presentation only to leave the audience remembering your “fizzle out” at the end? That’s a rhetorical question by the way.
A technique you can use not only in the opening but in the closing as well. Your audience may likely remember best what you said last. Do you want them to remember what you are saying and do you want them to remember coming to your conclusion and then discovering, you had a few more points to make on previous slides?
I bid not. As a polish presenter, you want your audience to remember you being in control of yourself, the content and your time to the very end. You also want your audience to remember what you said and what you want them to do without any confusion or delay.
Make sure that you present your final slides with power, polish, professionalism, and with a positive tone to leave your audience feeling positive about you and your message.