Off and Running

Opening any presentation is nerve-wracking. Not only is stage fright at its peak, but the audience expects you to say something compelling. Plus, not everyone listening to you processes information the same way. The most difficult to satisfy are those with short attention spans. The pressure is intense. Do the unexpected. Take your moment.

Eloqui developed Opening Triggers for our clients to hook the audience, frame their presentation and share their perspective. Triggers to consider include a mentor and what they taught you; an event from the headlines; a success or failure; or a sport you played and what you learned from it. When describing your opening trigger, use specific, concrete details before linking it to your topic. But, be careful not to make the trigger so colorful or lengthy that it overshadows what you came to deliver.

Then, use similar language or terminology for the second part-- when describing your content or topic. If it’s a pitch, say how the insights you gained earlier in your career now serve your clients. If it’s a current event and you’re a financial advisor, link the similarities between the Woolsey fire and how quickly markets can turn, or not having a long-term contingency plan can harm you.

Any performer will tell you that when you open with aplomb and feel the audience lean in, the rest of your presentation is easier and more enjoyable. Own the room.

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