There are many ways to make an immediate impact with an on-stage presentation. The suggestions below give you options so you can adapt, revise or change your opening for maximum impact, depending on your audience or gut feel in the moment…
1. Just pretend you have a long cloak on that hangs down to the floor, its heavy too! Now you will walk with a straight back, feel comfortable and engaged ready to present. Really it works try it for important meetings too!
Carole Railton – behaviourist specialising in body language for video & stage work
2. Go straight into the story. No “glad to be here”.
Alan Stevens – International Speaker and Media Coach
3. Grab attention by asking two enrolling questions with high probability of agreement. This must be in context with your audience, naturally. For eg: “Raise your hand if you run your own business?”
Jessen James Chinnapan – serial entrepreneur, business mentor & speaker
4. Don’t say anything that could as easily be said by another speaker. Start with something specific to your message. Otherwise, you have started talking but you haven’t begun speaking.
Jason Buckley – The Philosophy Man
5. A lot of the success in the first few moments is what happens in addition to the speaker – the quality of the introduction, whether people have had a break, lighting, background noise etc… Experienced speakers and performers are excellent at spotting these things, and the world-class ones are experts at controlling these ‘external’ factors without appearing to be a prima donna!
Lee Warren – Magician
6. If it’s a small audience I try to speak to and shake hands with as many as possible before I speak. Everyone I do this with connects with me on LinkedIn and Twitter after the talk.
Sofie Sandell – International speaker and author
7. Smile and stand tall – the first impressions we make as speakers happen well before we open our mouths to speak. Our audience wants to feel relaxed and confident that they are in the right place, so the way we walk on and how we smile helps a great deal.
Emma Sutton – Queen of Diamonds, Speaker on Marketing and Branding
8. Start with a few seconds of silence. Too many speakers are nervous and rush their first words. Allowing the silence at the beginning and drawing it out for just the right amount of time really gets the audiences attention and enhances your presence.
Gijs Hillmann – International speaker on workforce efficiency
Follow these nuggets of advice and help more people change, improve and transform their lives.