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How Can You Make a Great Introduction?

The first couple of minutes of any presentation that you make are arguably the most important. They are where first impressions are created and where you set your audience up ready to receive your information. In this blog I’ll share with you my tried and tested ABCD technique that never fails to get presentations off to a great start.

What if you never actually make presentations? Sometimes, an opportunity comes along that could really build your reputation. If you’re asked to make a presentation and you’re not sure where to start, start with the ABCD. Read on to find out how.

The ABCD of Introductions

Giving a presentation may be a nerve-wracking experience, but it can actually be an excellent opportunity to further your reputation. As your career develops, there is a greater likelihood that you will have to present to an influencing audience: you might be asked to make a presentation as part of your application for promotion; you might be required to present at a team meeting; or you might be asked to make a presentation at a retirement do.

The thing is, in some of these situations you might not be given much notice; therefore, it's important to have the skills ready so that you can really maximise this opportunity. Here is the ABCD of Introductions.

A is for Attention. Never take it for granted that you have the full attention of your audience. It's quite likely that they are thinking about what they need to pick up on the way home for their dinner. You need to be able to help people to tune in to what you are saying by using an opening line that really makes them sit up and listen.

B is for Benefit. Be crystal clear about what the benefit of listening to your presentation will be to your audience. Tell them that “this will be useful for you in the future because …” or that “this will make your life easier because …"

C is for Credibility. Explain why you are good at what you do, how long you've being doing it, and the breadth and depth of your experience. Explain why you have been asked to give this presentation and who invited you to take to the ‘stage’. Keep it short – the audience has not come to hear your life story.

D is for Direction. Your presentation isn't meant to be a magical mystery tour. Your audience will want to know that you're going to cover X and Y and that you're going to finish off with Z.

Starting any presentation with this ABCD – whether at a networking group to promote your business, or to a group of work colleagues – means that it will get off to a flying start. Take some time to prepare your ABCD, even if it’s only a few minutes, and you will find the whole presentation much easier to deal with.

Tackle Your Nerves with the ABCD

It's fair to say that most people get nervous when they stand up in front of an audience. However, by the time you've followed the ABCD of introductions, your nerves will have faded and you'll be ready to dive into the content of your presentation. It's also useful to remember that most of the people sitting in front of you are just really pleased that they're not where you are. They're on your side and they are not the enemy – they want you to be successful.

Three Top Tips

Here are my top four (well there are four letters in ABCD!) tips to help you get started with your presentation:

A – Ask a thought provoking question or use an interesting fact to grab the attention of the audience.

 

B – What’s the advantage of members of the audience understanding what you’re going to say? Tell them why they should listen to you!

 

C – Tell the audience why you’re standing in front of them and not the other way around!

 

D – Use this to lead people through your presentation and make it clear what you’re going to cover. This is a great way to keep people engaged with you, throughout your talk.

 

The next time you’re asked to give any sort of presentation, use the ABCD for your introduction and see how you get on. And if you need someone to talk to about your next presentation, let me know and we can talk about how I can help. Call me on 01483 303 593 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .