Grab Attention when You Open Your Presentation with Contrast

George Torok Insights, Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

Open Your Presentation with Contrast to grab Attention

Why open you presentation with contrast?

grab attention when you open your presentation

 

To grab attention, to engage, to trigger thinking

To highlight the difference between two opposite choices and the resulting outcomes

To create curiosity, stimulate interest and insight intrigue

 

 

open your presentation with contrast

That opening technique might be best illustrated by Charles Dickens in his Tale of Two Cities.

Here is the opening paragraph. Notice the vivid contrasts along with emotional and visual triggers.

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of

wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it

was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the

season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of

despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were

all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in

short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its

noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for

evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

 

Let’s examine this opening.

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

Contrast, intriguing and inviting. Tell me more, is our response.

 

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

We can probably identify with the proliferation of both wisdom and foolishness at the same time.

 

It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

Epoch, an intriguing word, coupled with the contrast of belief and incredulity.

 

It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

Now we see seasons of light and darkness a visual stimulus.

 

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

Now real seasons of emotional opposites.

 

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

Everything versus nothing – the proverbial fork in the road.

 

we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—

A religious sentiment.

 

In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

 

I found this sentence the most difficult to understand and explain. Perhaps that was the purpose -to confuse, just as we though we understood.

The words were powerful. The imagery was the captivating, and the emotional triggers were entrancing.

 

Bonus: Read this passage out loud and notice the cadence, and how that is hypnotising.

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

What do you think about this technique?

 

Presentation Tip: How might you use this technique in your presentation?

  1. List at least ten to 20 words that relate to your topic.
  2. Then go down the list and write opposites for each word.
  3. Now review your list and see what you can use in your opening of contrasts.

 

Open Your Presentation with Contrast to grab Attention

Open your presentation with contrast to grab attention

Grab attention – open with contrast

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more posts about how to open your presentation

Should You Start with a Joke?

Three Tips to Begin your Presentation with more Confidence

Open Your Presentation with Pizzazz

How NOT to Start Your Speech: 10 Presentation Mistakes You can Avoid 

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