You always want to start strong in your presentation, because your audience will judge you quickly. If you make a bad start, it takes a lot of effort to recover. If you make a strong start, like gets that little bit easier.
Let me share an example, based on two presentations I heard recently around the same time.
Presentation Opening Exhibit A
“Sorry we are not running this seminar in person this morning. Hopefully you can still take something from it. We wanted to do it in person but the combination of adverse weather and strikes made it too difficult to run in the room.”
Presentation Opening Exhibit B
“Good morning and welcome to an action-packed seminar. There may well be adverse weather and there may well be strikes. But nothing was going to stop us delivering our very best to you. Let’s dive straight in.”
Two opening speakers facing similar situations.
Two very different outcomes.
Yet the speaker who got the more successful outcome in Exhibit B did not have to work any harder than the speaker in Exhibit A. They didn’t need to use more words. They simply displayed a different attitude and approached the task in a positive way.
While you cannot see it in the written words, you can probably guess that their delivery ended up being far superior too.
There are many things you cannot control as a speaker.
But one thing you can always control is how you approach your opening words.
Whatever you do, make sure you inject some energy into it and bring the audience aboard.
Be on the front foot and start strong in your presentation.
Do not begin on the back foot.
Make sure you are not Exhibit A.
And aim to be Exhibit B.
(For tips about presenting in the room again have a look at https://www.speakwithimpact.com/presenting-in-the-room-again/ )