Many academic institutions require students to submit a slideshow presentation and discuss a topic in front of a group of people. The purpose is to help students improve verbal communication skills while providing information to several people in a single setting. While grading this project depends solely on the professor, a student who is able to deliver an informative and engaging presentation to the class has a better chance of getting a good grade.
First impressions are key; the speaker sets the tone of the discussion. Audience members decide in the first minute whether they want to listen.
To attract and maintain listener interest, here are powerful ways to open an introduction:
- Tell a joke. Start things on a positive note by making a non-offensive joke and engage your listeners.
- Propose a problem. To get attention, start by stating a current problem that most people can relate to and tie it into your discussion.
- Share a quotation. Choose a quotation from an important figure that relates to your topic. Recite it in a clear, modulated tone.
- Ask for a response. Start a discussion by asking a question like “How often do you use the Internet?” This question provides your audience the opportunity to participate before you continue the presentation. This also encourages them to later ask questions.
- Catch listeners off-guard. A radical statement or command can surprise people. For instance, if you are presenting a topic about conformity, first ask everyone to stand up. Then, ask why they did so. This opens the topic in an unexpected and unique manner.
- Tell a story. A personal anecdote or a tale can be used to set the tone of a presentation. Keep it brief and omit unnecessary details. This, ideally, helps listeners connect to you and your topic as they listen.
Use a visual aid. When you begin your slideshow, allow your audience to comment on a photo or a video in the presentation to establish participation from the beginning.
Choose the technique that works best for you when introducing your topic of discussion to the class. A slideshow presentation relies on both the careful construction of the conversation and its delivery. Capturing your listeners’ attention makes the presentation more likely to be active and engaging. No matter how interesting your topic, you may lose audience interest if you don’t make an effort to captivate them at the start.
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