How To Start a Presentation (With Tips and Examples)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 21 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Delivering a presentation, whether in an intimate group or a large crowd, is quite common in today's workplace. Various professionals may be required to give specific presentations, such as a sales pitch, new marketing data presentation or analytical research outcomes. Regardless of the content, it is important you create an engaging introduction to capture the interest of your audience early on in the presentation. In this article, we explain the importance of a solid start to a presentation, explain how to start a presentation and share examples and tips to help you begin.

Related: Types of Public Speaking Skills and How To Improve Them

What is the importance of knowing how to start a presentation?

Knowing how to start a presentation is an essential part of giving an effective speech or discussion. By coming up with an engaging start to your presentation, you can capture your audience's interest and help them focus on what you are going to share. Your introduction can help audience members understand the purpose of your presentation. When presenting in front of an unfamiliar audience, it also is your opportunity to introduce yourself as a speaker, helping you make a connection with your audience.

Related: Self-Introduction Sample: Overview, How To and Tips

How to start a presentation

Follow these steps to start a presentation effectively:

1. Tell your audience who you are

Start your presentation by introducing yourself. Along with sharing your name, give your audience some information about your background. Choose details that are relevant to your presentation and help establish you as an expert in your chosen topic.

Example: ”Good morning. My name is Ramesh Kumar, and I am here today to talk to you about how Target Reach Plus software is changing the way businesses manage data for their customers and products.”

Related: How To Introduce Yourself Professionally

2. Share what you are presenting

Tell your audience what you are going to be talking about in a succinct, organised matter. Think about your content and find several key points you hope to explain fully by the time you are finished.

Example: “I am here today to talk to you about why Target Reach Plus was created, who is benefiting from it already and how you can implement this kind of technology in your stores.”

Related: How To Write an Introduction (With Tips and Examples)

3. Let them know why it is relevant

Your audience needs to know that what you are presenting is important. Consider pulling in data or statistics to help deliver the importance of your message. You could also share how this presentation might enrich their lives or help them develop a new skill.

Example: “Did you know that 30% of India's retailers rely on CustomMax Pro for customer management? By 2030, that number is expected to spike by 15%. 45% of those same retailers today using this platform to track sales and marketing efforts still experience slow connection speeds and platform crashes. This is why I urge you to consider adopting Target Reach Plus for your customer management, which already boasts a much lower percentage rates of crashing and sluggishness.”

4. Tell a story

Before you start with the slide presentation you organised, consider telling a short, relevant story, as it can help build rapport with the audience. Your story can be humorous, idealistic or thought-provoking, but make it 30 seconds to a minute of relevant information. A personal touch to your story can help too. For example, you might have experienced something personal regarding the main point of your presentation. Let your audience in on that experience.

Example: “When I went shopping a few weeks ago with a couple of good friends, I immediately noticed how there are now robots roaming the store and taking orders.”

5. Make an interesting statement

If you do not have a personal story to share with the audience, consider sharing a thought-provoking fact about your presentation's relevance. If you decide to go forward with this approach, make sure to deliver your statement with confident body language and verbal tone.

Stand up straight and keep your hands out of your pockets. It might help to think about delivering this as if you were telling your coworkers or peers about the news you just learned that affects them. You want your audience to know what you are saying is both truthful and interesting.

6. Ask for audience participation

If you do not plan to make a bold statement or tell a story, ask your audience to participate. The best way to do this is by asking an open-ended question that requires them to either raise a hand or stand up to answer. If it is early in the morning, try asking them to stand up when they answer your question. This tactic works best in more intimate to small-scale audiences.

If you are unsure of what attention-grabbing tactic may work best, use a friend, coworker or family member to practise. They can give you feedback on things like your body language, dress attire and, ultimately, what tactic works best with your presentation's main idea.

Related: Five Steps To Prepare a Farewell Speech (With Tips and Examples)

Good presentation introduction examples

Here are several examples of quality presentation introductions you can use as inspiration for your own:

Example 1: Business conference presentation

Here is how you might begin a presentation for a business conference:

"Hello, everyone. My name is Aja Patel, a seasoned business leader in the world of beauty products. Over the course of my career, I have helped five start-up beauty brands become top-tier brands in the Indian market. I have served as the creative director for three award-winning campaigns and helped several brands completely change their image.

Now, why am I telling you all this? Because I want to help your brand break into this saturated industry. Over the course of the next 30 minutes, I am going to share more about my personal story in this industry and share insider advice on how to leverage your brand for success."

Example 2: Client project presentation

Here is how you might begin a client meeting:

"Hello, team. As most of you already know, my name is Diya Reddy. I am the senior graphic designer at Art Works. Today, I am going to go over our team's work for the Nelson campaign. By the end of this meeting, I am hoping to give you a better understanding of the new branding direction. I plan to cover colour pallets, logo design, website layouts and brochure mockups. Does anyone have any questions before we get started?"

Example 3: Onboarding new employees presentation

Here is how you could start an onboarding session for a group of new employees:

"Hi, team. My name is Devak Acharya, and I am your human resources manager. The purpose of today's meeting is to help you all understand the expectations of our company. I plan to go over the employee handbook in detail, answering any of your questions along the way. This meeting is going to take around three hours, with a breakout session in-between.

To get started, I want you to use the notebook on your chairs to answer the following questions, "What is your role?", "What is your favourite food?", "Where did you grow up?" After five minutes, I want you to share your responses with your neighbour."

Tips for a better presentation

Use these tips to give a good presentation:

  • Use visual aids. Slideshows, videos, images and other visual elements can add to your presentation. You can use them to guide your presentation and help people stay interested in what you have to share.

  • Practise in front of an audience. While practising in front of your mirror can help you learn your lines, consider asking your friends and family if you can give your speech to them. This can help you calm your nerves and learn what to improve.

  • Be excited about your work. Encourage the audience to feel excited about your presentation by being an energetic speaker. Along with changing your tone of voice, make sure you are using hand gestures and smiling throughout your speech.

  • Ask questions throughout. Consider asking your audience questions periodically. This encourages them to be more attentive listeners and can help them reflect on the content of your presentation.

  • Be a gracious speaker. Always thank your audience for giving you time to speak. This shows that you value their time and attention.

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