Orchestrate the first and last impressions of your presentation
Think about the three distinct parts of your presentation.
They are the opening, body and close.
The body is the largest portion of the presentation.
The opening and close might only comprise 10 to 15% of the time, yet they are critical because they convey first and last impressions.
You’ve probably heard that first impressions are important. Did you know that last impressions are also important?
The last impression follows the law of recency. We have selective memory, and we tend to remember firsts and lasts. We also place more importance on firsts and lasts.
What does that mean to you as a presenter?
Spend more time and effort getting your opening and close right.
When creating your opening and close, consider the possibility that they might only remember these two parts. If that was true, would they have received your intended message? If not, revise your opening and close. The body is the detail, the opening and close provide the motivation and the direction.
Rehearse your opening and close separately so you can deliver them confidently and effectively. If you are using slides, blank the screen during the opening and closing because you want to be the focal point.
You want the audience focused on you during your opening and closing so your message is received, understood and remembered.
Don’t allow a slide to interfere with your messages during these key parts of the presentation.
What are common mistakes you can avoid in the opening and close?
What are effective techniques and specific phrases you can use?
Watch for the answers to these questions in the next set of presentation tips.
When you speak, create and reinforce the first and last impressions that support your message.
This is one piece in the series of weekly presentation tips from George Torok.
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