8 Steps to Stellar Presentations: Create an Opener

Step 5: Create an Opener

In previous blog posts, we’ve looked at
Step 1: Develop Your Objectives
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Step 3: State the Main Ideas
Step 4: Decide on Supporting Information

Now you need a GRABBER for your presentation!
Capture the audience’s attention–within 20 seconds–and keep it.

Use these questions to help you build your presentation:

Break the ice and draw audience into your speech in a familiar way

Ask a question

Ask 1 question, or 3 questions, to evoke the desired responses


Common area(s) of shared concern(s); challenge(s); issue(s)

Current Event(s)
Specific occasion, or frequent occurrence shared

Fact or Statistic
Offer numeric, scientific, empirical/statistical data or other information

Appropriate lighthearted remark, relevant to your purpose/presentation

Metaphor, Parable or Parallel

Quote someone famous, or an unknown, the CEO, scripture, comedian…

Real-World Situation
Accurate example that has immediate relevance to the listeners

Rhetorical Question(s)
A question you ask that does not require an answer; makes audience think

Real, imagined, possibly futuristic; something you want/don’t want to happen

Short Story
Set-up, climax, outcome; suspense/conflict; real or not; past/present/future

Startling Statement(s)
Shock factor; use a story, statistic or graphic that literally stuns the audience

Visual Aid(s)
Props, novelties, flip chart, PowerPoint slide to support your presentation

-Sheryl Roush, Speaker, Speaking Coach
Sparkle Presentations, Inc.

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