Student Resources
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Student Guide: How to start a presentation?

EHL Insights
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Giving presentations is a big part of the college experience. Teachers assign this project as a learning process because it may often be necessary in the workplace too.

After all, 70% of workersstatethat presentation skills are important for career success. As a student, it can be challenging to put together a presentation because it often seems like every student in the class winds up with nearly identical results.

As a unique person, the last thing you want is a boring speech!

We’ve put together five creative ways to start your presentation which are sure to make sure yours is remembered.

1. Start with a Time Warp

Don’t begin your presentation in the present day--begin with a jump back in time, or perhaps imagine the future. By taking your audience out of present day, you’re shaking up their sense of reality and causing them to think a bit outside the box. You’re immediately differentiating yourself from other lectures.

2. Open with Vulnerability

This tip obviously won’t work on every presentation, but if you can incorporate some emotion and show some vulnerability, you’ll immediately forge a connection with your audience. This connection will allow you to build to your apex later in the speech much easier.

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3. Tell a Story

Begin with a story that relates to your case. This is a tried and true presentation method that builds interest and helps you relate your topic with a real-world situation. Storytelling isn’t always something that comes naturally, so you may have to really practice this.

4. Begin with Video

Today it iseasier than everto incorporate multimedia elements into your lecture. Starting with a video allows you to provide something that already has the information you need to get across to your audience and can help you break the ice and relax before you get into the meat of your presentation.

5. Take a Poll

Take an informal survey, asking for a show of hands, as the first part of your presentation. By having audience participation first thing, you are investing each person into your speech and assuring they will follow along as the presentation progresses.

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to begin, make sure you follow up and fulfill the promise with a presentation that wows and provides great information. Putting some extra time and effort into this project will pay off in the form of better grades and it may help you later on in the workforce too. As Dale Carnegiestated: “There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”

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