Why Most Presentations Suck

“Our work is the presentation of our capabilities.”~ Edward Gibbon

Most presentations suck! One of the major reasons they do is because most presenters fail to both engage their audience instantly and to frame their message correctly.

Instead of getting the audience to think “wow… this is different…this is going to be powerful” their opening causes the audience
to have the following internal dialogue “here we go again…one of those presenters…this is going to be painful…” or ” hum… I heard this before…not sure if I am going to stay for the entire thing…”

Laziness and lack of know-how are the 2 major reasons this situation happens over and over…

The good news is that anybody can avoid this trap and learn how to create influential openings that:

  • Interrupts the current thinking pattern that your audience has (whatever the story they have in their heads) and focus on your message
  • Sets up the tone for your message so your audience thinks “…this is going to be good..”
  • Creates a context for your entire message, so it is easier for your audience to understand what is coming next;
  • Induces curiosity, and
  • Could, in some cases, engage them physically from the geco (it applies to public speaking)

My clients usually ask me what is the best opening to use. Even though I tend to use stories to open up live presentations and webinars, my answer is always the same:

It depends“.

It depends on the context of your presentation, how much time you have, your outcome, if the audience already knows you, how much you personally like that particular opening, etc.

Today I will be sharing with you 8 different opening strategies that I have used in the past in live presentations, webinars and videos on the topic of “How to Grow Your Business Using Video Marketing“.

I chose NOT to include “storytelling” as an opening in this article because it is so important and it deserves it is own article ( I will be covering “How to open a presentation with stories” in the future) .

Here they are:

1) Statement:

You tell the audience a shocking statement that is supposed to grab the audience attention immediately:

For example:

“Video Marketing is the fastest way to grow your business!” Pause. In the next 30 minutes you will understand why…

2) Fact

You tell the audience something that has happened (fact) but it is not your opinion (like a statement).

For example:

“The reason I was invited to speak for you this morning is because Mr. Brown saw one of my videos on YouTube” and sent me an invitation. That is the power of Video Marketing.

3) Statistic

You share with your audience a statistic that supports your core message.

For example:

“According to ComScore, a company who tracks online video viewing, 182.000,00 Americans watched online video in the month of December 2011, in average, 22.3 hours per month. Today you will learn how to capitalize on this growing trend.

4) Question

You ask a question that will help “set up or position” your content. The question strategy, when done properly, is a great way to get your audience to buy in.

For example:

“If you could own your TV channel, broadcast your message to thousands of people with virtual zero cost, would you do it?” (pause). If you said “yes”, than I am confident you will love Video Marketing, because it has the same benefits of having your own TV channel…

5) Prop

You use any object to grab people’s attention and peak their curiosity. For example:

I can have a cloth covering my hand (which is holding an object) and my audience is wondering what I am holding.

So I could say something like:

I my hands I have a tool that will be help you to: get you new prospective clients, save you time on training, improve your customer service,
increase your brand awareness and increase your relationship with your database. And the best part, this tool is virtually FREE:

Pause. Then I removed the cloth and show my smart phone or a video camera.

6) Video

You can show a short and emotional clip that demonstrates the power of video. In the end of the clip you can ask your audience a question that
will help position your message.

For example I can show this video (Visa Commercial) and ask the audience: How many of you got chills by just watching this 58-second video? How many of you would like to learn how to create the same emotions in your clients?

mastercard

7) Future Pacing

You take your audience into the future and have them visualize their lives after they have adopted the idea you are about to propose. You do the best you can to have them feel and experience NOW the benefits they will get in the future.


Imagine you show up to work on Monday and one of the first things you do is to record a quick video. You both feel and look good because you know your message will help your audience.

After spending 1 hour working on this project, you share your video with your prospective clients and clients and you jump to your next task.
Within 1 hour of sharing your video you already got several new orders. You also got a couple of your loyal clients to share your video with their database (over 20,000 people). The orders keep coming. You actually have to stop what you are doing because know you have thousands of dollars to collect. It is not the end of the day, and you are already hit your weekly sales outcome. You smile and you tell yourself, “yes, I love video marketing”.

8.) Quote

You use a quote from an expert or someone who your audience respects to help you position your message.

According to the best selling author Jeffrey Gitomer, “Video is the new black”.  I agree with Jeffrey, Video is the foundation of your marketing for this point on.

I hope you enjoyed these 8 opening strategies, they are extremely effective and they will help you engage your audience instantly when done properly.

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