Experience show that if you don’t hook your audience in the first thirty seconds, you’ve lost them forever.
To help you hook your audience, here are 4 ways to start your presentation.
Share a provocative truth
Did you know that almost 1 in 4 adults would sacrifice sex to avoid sitting through a slideshow? To kill that apathy, say something shocking about your subject.
Every subject has its share of shocking statistics. Don’t believe us? Look at these:
- You’re going to spend over five weeks of your life brushing your teeth
- Printing one Sunday edition of the New York Times takes 75’000 trees
- Before we used rubber erasers, people used to erase pencil with wads of white bread
To find the shocking statistic about your central idea, try Google. Better yet, speak to the experts you know. If their insights shock you, you’ve found your hook!
Tease something interesting
You’ve got a whole presentation ahead of you, so how can you hook your audience into looking forward to it? It’s easy. All you have to do is tease something interesting.
Instead of saying “Our new campaign’s generating unexpected interest among Millennials”, say “We found something really surprising about our new campaign, but I’ll get to that later.”
This might seem unnatural, but it really shouldn’t. After all, I’m sure you tease surprises all the time. Just think of the last time you bought a great gift for a friend’s birthday. Did you tell them what it was, or did you drop hints that drove them wild? By applying the same principle to your presentation, you’ll easily hook your audience.
Start with a story
In 2014, Paul J. Zak performed an interesting experiment. He showed a James Bond movie to a dozen subjects, then scanned their brains. His scans revealed something incredible: stories tell our brains to pay attention.
We’ve stressed the power of storytelling in so many articles. That’s because we’ve been wired to pay attention to stories since the stone age. They help us remember ideas while building empathy and engaging our brains.
To hook your audience with a story, find a short one which sets up your central idea as the hero. Next, rehearse it until you’re sure it will engage your audience. That could mean speaking slowly to build anticipation, or showing relevant pictures to add power to your plot’s high points.
Challenge their ideas
“So PowerPoint’s an amazing presentation tool, right? Wrong. It’s so much more than that.”
Everybody loves a challenge. When your audience hear you challenge their idea, they’ll want to hear you back that challenge up.
This can be a powerful way to hook your audience, but be careful! If you can’t back your claim up, you’ll lose credibility. To avoid that, try to work backwards from your evidence. Instead of starting with the idea you want to challenge, ask what idea your evidence challenges.
We hope you use these 4 tips to hook your audience. To help you hook any audience, have a chat with our professional presentation designers today.