10 extraordinary ways to start a presentation or a lecture Do you know that? You have to give a lecture. Your slides are ready, the PowerPoint presentation is ready. You are well versed in the subject and have learned a solid background. You have already tracked down some potential questions and prepared possible answers. Everything is fine - if it was not the beginning.
Well, there is the classic option: "Welcome to my lecture on XYZ. My name is Shelley Novak and in the next 30 minutes I will explain ... ", but everyone uses this variant. Is that bad? No. Is it boring and 90 percent of the listeners switch off at a standard introduction? Yes. And you can not afford that. At least not if you stand out from the crowd and want to pass on your message to the audience. So how should you start your talk?
Well, there are different rhetorical possibilities. But beware: not all are suitable for presentations in an academic setting. In this article, I have put together ten suitable options for you that will immediately attract the attention of your audience (and your professor!). 10 ways to start a presentation or a lecture If you're having trouble finding the right way to start your presentation without a lot of those in the room falling asleep, then here are the findings. 10 ways you can open your presentation:
1. Use a quote! Quotes are a simple and elegant way to start your talk. Quotes have something magical, something wise about them. Moreover, they are accepted as stylistic devices in science and almost never encounter rejection. Many lecturers use themselves with well-known authors and quote whenever an opportunity arises. Especially a quote from an authority or famous person can do wonders and give your presentation an attention-grabbing edge that you could never create on your own. Why not let Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking start your talk?
Example: The quote from Henry Ford "If you stop advertising to save money, you can also stop your clock to save time." Would be well suited for a talk on marketing tools.
2. Ask a question! Do you remember how I started this article? Right: with a question ("Do you know that?"). Why did I do that? Because I had the goal to make you think. I wanted you to stay involved from the beginning and feel connected to the text. Do you notice how it works? (I'll do it again ...) A question is the simplest form of entry. And best of all, you do not even need an answer. One question is enough and your audience thinks about possible answers or builds expectations. That's all you want - because you'll meet those expectations with your talk.
Ask questions that your listeners are interested in (and that he or she wants answered). Alternatively, you can also use rhetorical questions or leading questions. The main thing, the thoughts of the audience are captured. On the other hand, you should not ask questions of course, and it may not be too provocative at the beginning. For example, "When was the last time you read a nonfiction book in one day?" At a book presentation, or "Do you know what Donald Trump has to do with (topic of your choice)?" To relate your topic to a recent political development bring. 3. Tell a story! People love stories. Tales captivate us and playfully catch everyone's attention. Our rational brain also absorbs stories better and can remember them better than abstract information. Therefore, you should start your talk with a short story. However, your story should not be far-fetched and overly detailed. Anecdotes and short stories that surprise your listeners, but direct you to the core theme of the presentation, are good. Especially nice and effective are personal stories that reveal something about your life. However, there should also be a reference to the topic here.
Example: "When Nikola Tesla was 17 years old, he suffered a severe stroke of fate ..." for a lecture with a physical background or "At the weekend an elderly woman in the train spoke to my book. It turned out that she ... "
4. Use a statistic! Start your talk with facts. Clear, bare facts. Especially surprising are the surprising statistics which underpin a clear development, an unexpected development or a turnaround. Rational people love interesting data. Especially if they are unique and terrifying. Of course, your statistics should be relevant and relevant to the topic. The source also plays an important role: figures from the Bild newspaper have a different quality than information from the Federal Statistical Office. After you have presented your statistics succinctly, you just wait a moment, let the numbers work and then start with your actual lecture.
Example: "Coal production in the EU has fallen 25 percent in the last year." Or "3 out of 4 children over the age of 10 can not read properly."
5. Draw a comparison! Especially for specific topics where only a handful of people know a lot, you can use an initial comparison to attract more attention. But even with mainstream themes, comparisons can promote a strong bond between you and your audience. You should note that the comparison is interesting, but not unrealistic. You also have to choose a comparison that your listeners understand - you do not have to assume too much expertise. Comparisons are also excellent in combination with other opening options.
Example: "The worldwide power consumption is currently at X. The method that I present to you, can reduce this value by 5 percent." (Comparison in combination with a statistic) or "Do you know what Einstein, a smartphone and my talk together have? "(Comparison in combination with a question).
6. Make a thesis! If you want to start your talk with a signal of strength and stand confidently to your results, this kind of opening is just the thing for you. Summarize your findings in a thesis and make a simple, clear statement at the beginning. Depending on the audience and professor, you should be careful with this stylistic device. Some are too brisk; others react with unwanted willingness to discuss. Attention is always sure.
For example: "For the development of your model, the author deserves a Nobel Prize." Or "At the present time there is only one reliable method by which ... everything else does not work or leads to big problems. And in my presentation, I'll show you why that is. "
7. Create an everyday reference!
Many lectures, presentations and presentations in the study deal with so-called niche topics. Themes that are rather small and abstract. The audience does not understand their meaning or is not interested in it. By creating a connection to the daily reality, you can compensate for this disadvantage.
When it comes to everyday life, the same applies as with the comparisons: the connection must fit and should not be tainted by the hair. Originality and simplicity is needed. Again, you can combine other stylistic devices and thus ensure even more attention. Example: "Did you know how the Bernoulli effect helps you with camping?" Or "The findings of the following study can be used without problems in everyday life - for example in the morning at the bakery."
8. Tell a joke! Of all the possibilities that I present in this article, the joke is the trickiest. Why? First, because you can lose your integrity and are no longer taken seriously. If your professor is rather strict and even relinquishes humorous deposits, you should do it the same way.
Second, because jokes are difficult and can backfire. Just because you and your three favorite comrades find something funny does not mean that the rest of the audience will. A fake joke at the beginning can damage your self-confidence and completely upset you. In addition, there is a risk that you will grudge yourself in the sound and say something inappropriate.
For example, jokes that target minority groups or that involve particular groups of people are usually not well suited for a lecture. When you reach for this remedy, make sure that you do not defame anyone and make sense of your listeners. Not everyone understands ambiguity, irony and political allusions. 9. Anticipate the result! If your talk leads to your clear conclusion, that is to be understood without much explanation, you can anticipate the end and, so to speak, fall into the house with
the door. Speak directly to the beginning of the benefits of your presentation and then explain step by step the way there. Your audience will be grateful that you are not unnecessarily tensing them and follow your explanations much better because they know what to expect. But be careful not to confuse the audience with too much information. Your statement must be clear - similar to the thesis. Example: "In this talk, I'll show you how we can realize a return of € 250,000." Or "The model I'll explain to you immediately delivers results with a 98.7 percent accuracy." 10. Show an illustrative object! Nothing draws as much attention as something you can touch. Numbers and words can not compete with a real object - and that's exactly what you can use for your performance. Organize an object of intuition that, when it starts, you can hold up or walk through the ranks. Even in purely theoretical lectures and even the most abstract topics, you can usually find something to "show". The thing is only a catch: you have to be creative. And if in doubt, make something or invest a little money. This can be worthwhile for important lectures, because professors usually appreciate your additional work. Example: "This is a model of my test rig (in 1:25 scale), which I created with a 3D printer." Or "If you print out my statistical evaluation, you would need 13,700 pages, which corresponds to this stack of books I You have brought along for illustration. "Or" this prop played a crucial role in the premiere of Hamlet. I got a duplicate for her. Conclusion The next time you have to give a lecture or a presentation, the beginning will not cause you any headaches. Next time you think about the perfect beginning, remember this article. Think of the 10 extraordinary possibilities: Use a quote! Ask a question!
Tell a story! Use a statistic! Draw a comparison! Make a thesis! Create an everyday reference! Tell a joke! Take the result in advance! Show an illustrative object!
And of course sometimes a mix of several. It is only important that you think about which stylistic devices are well received by your audience and especially by your lecturers. After this restriction you have the free choice. So you can stand out from the crowd through each of the ten possibilities and be remembered for a long time.