Curiosity killed the cat.
It also kept the audience interested.
If you want your audience to pay attention and stay interested, consider building curiosity into your presentation.
You can start from the presentation opening.
Opening your presentation with a statement that peaks the curiosity of the audience will draw your listeners and in and keep them with you throughout your presentation.
Just make sure you satisfy their curiosity at some point in your talk.
Here are 12 killer presentation openers to keep your audience interested…
“I have a secret.”
Uses: Use this to share good news. For example, something no one knows about your project, the company’s recent sales results, an exciting new initiative that will be rolled out.
“I pride myself in my painstaking planning. But no amount of planning could have prepared me for what happened on this project.”
Uses: Use this to share a surprising finding. For example, unexpected research results or an odd marketing campaign that proved popular.
“Please remember this keyword…”
Uses: Use this introduce a change or something new. For example, a new process, a new policy, a comparatively better product.
“We had one of the biggest disasters imaginable on our project.”
Uses: Use this to share knowledge or introduce a change. For example, things to watch out for; or a new risk management process.
“You’ve never seen anything like this.”
Uses: Use this introduce a new or improved item. For example, a product launch, the start of a new computer system in the office, a streamlined reporting system.
“I have two options and I need you to help me decide.”
Uses: Use for presentations where you need audience input and/or buy-in. For example, a decision on a new HR policy or decision on the department social event.
“I have a confession to make.”
Uses: Use this to share information that has been top secret until today. For example, announcing someone’s promotion or departure.
Watch this one in action at TED to add humor and stimulate engagement:
“Imagine you have one week to deliver your project. Which one of these items [shows slide] is going to help you?”
Uses: Use this to talk about the uses or benefits of a particular item. For example, introducing a new product or persuading a business to change suppliers.
“Like you, I’m aware that our business faces it’s biggest challenge over the next year.”
Uses: Use this to introduce a change that is necessary or could potentially be unpopular. For example, introducing new sales targets or new compliance processes.
“I have some news that will [shock you | make you uncomfortable | make your working day easier] but first…”
Uses: Use this to introduce good news/change. For example, introducing a new or improved process or system.
“This is the only time you’ll hear this from me.”
Uses: Use this to something important that people must remember. For example, introducing an important compliance change everyone needs to follow.
“My talk will take just 10 minutes but it will make every work day easier for you.”
Uses: Use this to introduce an improvement to an audience you expect will be apathetic. For example, describing the simplification of the time card system.