Presentation Tips

Grab Your Audience’s Attention Right Away

Ruby McNitt
 | 
October 20, 2021
 | 
8
 min read
Grab Your Audience’s Attention Right AwayGrab Your Audience’s Attention Right Away

Grabbing your audience’s attention as soon as your presentation begins is critical, from the most experienced presenter to someone putting slides together for the first time. There are many ways to do this, such as an opening joke, a story, or a thought-provoking question! Surveys show that most people think that presentation tools should most importantly provide design, theme, and template related options. Beautiful.ai has a wide range of slide templates for any information you want to present, as well as options for themes and design! All you have to do is fill in the content. Below are eight presentation opening examples to make your next presentation the best it can be. 

Tell a captivating story 

Opening your presentation with a story helps to captivate your audience. It can help people relate to your topic. The timeline slide can be helpful if you are telling a story chronologically. The type slide or photo grid slide are also options if you want to bullet out some main points or show visuals to bring the story to life. 55% of people say a great story is primarily what holds their focus during a presentation, so opening up with this strategy can help get your presentation off the ground. 

Tell a joke

Telling a joke for your presentation opening line is a great way to break the ice with your audience! A personal anecdote or funny quote can bring your presentation to life. Some laughter can do wonders to build rapport, and to shake off some nerves too. A few slides you can use from Beautiful.ai to tell your joke are the quotation slide or the image slide. This gives you the option to write your joke out or provide a simple image background so the attention is on you and what you are saying. Make sure to keep it appropriate, but this is a good way to keep things light and interesting. 

Ask a rhetorical, thought-provoking question

This will encourage your audience to stop and think! The question should be linked to the information you are presenting, and you can even answer it with the bulk of your presentation. A great way to do this is by utilizing one of Beautiful.ai’s Visual Impact slides. Some specific examples are the headline slide or the image slide. Write out the full question on the headline slide so your audience can read it clearly. You can also put a thought-provoking image on the image slide and ask the audience a question out loud, so there are no written distractions on your screen. Audience engagement levels are highest (92%), if the attendees do most of the talking. Asking a question, rhetorical or not, gives your audience a chance to think about your presentation from their point of view, drawing their attention in even more. You can give them an opportunity to discuss or answer the question, or even just a minute to think about it. 

State a shocking statistic or headline

In your presentation opening, a statistic or headline about the content you are presenting can help to hook your audience. Statistics show factual information that provides background and proof for what you will be talking about next. A headline shows that the information is important and current, and your audience will know that what you are talking about is newsworthy. Beautiful.ai has a ton of great Smart Slide options for clearly showcasing statistics! The data and charts slides have many different ways to visually present your statistics in an easily understandable way. The headline slide and quotation slide are also great ways to present a headline, so that it pops out from the screen. 32% of people say that they most often create presentations for homework or course assignments, which often contain statistics! These slides are a great way to bring your school or business presentation to the next level. 

Use a powerful quote

Quoting an expert or a well-known figure is a great way to open your presentation. It gives you credibility, because it shows you did your research. The quotation slide from the visual impact slide collection is a great way to highlight a quote. This allows the quote to pop out from the screen and be easily readable! 55% of people say a great story is primarily what holds their focus during a presentation, and a relatable quote can add a story-like element to your presentation, making it all the more successful! 

Show a gripping photo

Visual aids are a powerful tool when grabbing attention! Opening your presentation with a photo or graphic encourages your audience to pay attention to the slides. Thought-provoking images are much more interesting to look at than words on a screen. You can use the photo grid or image slide to put one or more photos into your presentation. Surveys show that if you speak to people and just tell them some facts, there is a 5% to 10% retention rate of the information. If you add some visual material and images, that retention rate can increase to 25% to 30%. This is why photos are so important! Beautiful.ai has great templates to bring your photos the attention they deserve. 

Use a prop or create a visual aid

Having a physical visual aid for your presentation opening can be a great way to hook your audience. This is a good time to use a simple photo or headline slide so you can properly show off your prop or visual aid. Whether it be a graph, prop, or anything else, let your audience turn their full attention to it rather than your slides. Visual aids are a statistically proven way to improve audience engagement, so don’t shy away from bringing something in to spice things up. 

Play a short video

Let your audience watch a video to show an expert or someone with firsthand experience on your topic backing up your points. A video can also help showcase background information. It aids in the same way a photo, graphic, or prop does. An interesting video can set the tone for the rest of your presentation, letting the audience know what they will be hearing about and giving them something to look at other than written words. Beautiful.ai has a full video slide that is perfect for this! Similarly to showing a photo, adding a video can increase retention to 25% to 30% from just 5% to 10%. 

All eight of these ways to begin your presentation can help take audience engagement to the next level! Hooking people in so they are 100% focused on your slides is essential, and Beautiful.ai is here to help in a seamless and visually appealing way. 

Ruby McNitt

Ruby McNitt

Ruby is a Bay Area writer and consultant. You can find her on Twitter @RubyMcNitt.