“Thank you so much for being here. I know your time is valuable and I really appreciate …”
If I never hear this presentation introduction again, I’ll be a happy woman.
Although it’s tempting to start “safe”, the challenge with this intro is it’s benign and puts you in a one-down position. It screams “you, the audience, are doing me a favor by being here and listening”.
Instead, use a formula that immediately hooks, connects, and says to your audience: “This content is valuable…listen up!”
WHAT IS…WHAT COULD BE*
Start right away by describing the CURRENT STATEof the audience’s world, as it applies to your topic. What is their current experience and reality (related to your topic)? What are their challenges and pain points?
This demonstrates that you understand their world and you have them in mind.
Next, identify the IMPACT or consequence of staying in the current state. The more you focus on what the audience cares about here, the better. This part is often forgotten.
WHAT COULD BE:
Now, give them a glimpse of the FUTURE STATE:your solution / idea…your presentation topic. This is the WHY they are here.
Help them envision the world a better place because of your idea, project, service, product etc.
Remember to give them just a little taste in the intro, because the rest of your presentation will go into more detail around WHAT COULD BE.
EXAMPLE: SPEAKING TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS
WHAT IS:Your sales people are wasting hours every day formatting word docs instead of talking to customers. Your sales process is broken. (CURRENT STATE) The closing time is double what it could be, and you’re losing millions of dollars a year. (IMPACT)
WHAT COULD BE: You can change your process and get back on track. Imagine your closing cycle time cut in half, and your account reps connecting with your customers every day. I’m going to show you how to do this AND how this will grow your revenue by 30%. You can turn this around. Let’s look at how.
NON-PROFIT EXAMPLE: SPEAKING TO POTENTIAL DONORS:
WHAT IS: Every week you’re inundated with requests for your money and time. The number of non- profit organizations doing great work is almost limitless, and their requests can start to feel overwhelming and confusing. What will my donation do specifically? How do I make a difference? (CURRENT STATE)
So you may randomly donate money in an unsatisfied way – or just freeze your giving entirely. (IMPACT)
WHAT COULD BE: Today we want to reduce that confusion, and spotlight a local organization doing transformative work right here in your community. A program that helps young, low income mothers turn their lives around. A program that works incredibly hard to be diligent with your donation.
This simple and powerful formula will work with almost any type of presentation you deliver. Try it for your next project status, client update, or keynote presentation.
Show your audience how your idea / project / vision will help them go from where they are to where they could be. Bring life to your presentation introduction and inspireyour audience to act.
Click here to learn more about our Presentation Transformation workshops and services. https://insideoutinnovation.com/presentation-transformation/
*This is a modified version from Nancy Duarte, best-selling author, presentation guru, and CEO of Duarte.