How to start and end a presentation: top tips and tricks from professionals (+ special focus)
Slidepeak / Blog / How to start and end a presentation: top tips and tricks from professionals (+ special focus)

How to start and end a presentation: top tips and tricks from professionals (+ special focus)

Have you ever wondered why some presentations leave a lasting impression while others are quickly forgotten? The secret often lies in how they begin and end. Surprisingly, even the best content and the most convincing infographics won’t work if your audience gets bored. Even more importantly, an excellent presentation can be unintentionally spoiled with an abrupt or confusing ending. So, what’s the key to making a lasting impact? The answer might astonish you – it’s all in the memorable start and end of your presentation. But how exactly do you achieve this? There are several proven ways for you to start and finish effectively. Let’s dive right into them with our professional presentation service!

10 awesome ideas on how to start presentation

Captivating your audience from the very first slide is essential, whether you’re delivering a sales pitch or a webinar presentation. But how can you ensure they leave informed and excited rather than confused and bored? Here are ten creative ways to grab any audience’s attention:

1. Start with a provocative question

Engage your audience immediately by asking a thought-provoking question related to your topic. It will make attendees ponder and prime them for your subject matter.

2. Share a surprising fact or statistic

Present an astonishing fact or statistic that highlights the importance or urgency of your topic. It will help create a “wow” moment that hooks the audience.

3. Tell a personal story

Share a personal anecdote to make your presentation more relatable and engaging. A brief, emotionally connecting story can earn you admiring glances.

4. Use a powerful quote

Open with a compelling quote that sets the tone and introduces your subject. Choose the one that is profound and relevant to your message.

5. Show a captivating image or video

A striking visual can be one of the most powerful ways to start a presentation. Choose an image or short video clip directly related to your presentation’s key theme, and you’re halfway to success.

6. Incorporate audience interaction

Begin by involving your audience directly. It could be through a quick poll, asking for a show of hands, or even a brief group activity related to your topic. Remember, audience interaction right from the start fosters a sense of participation and engagement, making your presentation more memorable and dynamic.

7. Use humor

A light-hearted joke or amusing anecdote can warm up the audience and make your presentation more enjoyable.

8. Begin with a bold statement

Open with a bold, controversial, or unexpected statement to jolt your audience’s attention. This way, you immediately establish a strong connection, drawing the attendees into the heart of your narrative.

9. Ask your audience to imagine something

Invite your audience to close their eyes and visualize a scenario you describe. It’s an effective way to engage their imagination.

10. Use a prop

Start your presentation with a physical object related to your topic. It can be a powerful visual aid that adds interest and relevance to the subject matter.

Tricks for an engaging presentation start

1. Combine techniques

Mix and match the above methods. For example, use a prop while telling a personal story or start with a provocative question followed by a surprising statistic.

2. Tailor the final presentation to your audience

Have you thought about how much more impactful your presentation could be if you considered your audience’s interests and background? Personalize your opening to resonate with them, and you’ll be astonished with the result!

3. Practice your opening

Rehearse your opening meticulously. A smooth, confident start sets the tone for the rest of your presentation, so use it to your advantage.

4. Keep it brief and impactful

Your start of presentation should be concise yet powerful. It’s the hook that draws your audience in, so make every word count.

5. Use pauses effectively

After your opening statement or question, pause for a moment to let it sink in. This will help enhance the impact and give your audience time to contemplate.

Now that you know how to begin a presentation on a positive note, let’s discuss how to conclude a presentation with power and grace.

How to finish a presentation: 10 practical ways

Ending presentation with impact is as crucial as starting it with a powerful opening. These ten tips will help you ensure you leave a lasting impression:

1. Summarize key points

Concisely recap the main points of your presentation. This reinforces your message and helps the audience retain the information.

2. End with a CTA

Encourage your audience to take specific action based on your presentation. Make it clear, achievable, and relevant.

3. Close with a powerful quote

Can a thought-provoking or inspiring quote leave your audience pondering long after the presentation? Absolutely, so use this chance to your benefit!

4. Ask a rhetorical question

Pose a question that doesn’t require an answer but encourages reflection on your topic. This will help draw the audience in a lot more than any other option.

5. Use a full-circle technique

Refer back to your opening anecdote, question, or statement. This technique will give a satisfying sense of closure.

6. Share a personal story or anecdote

Conclude presentation with a story that encapsulates your message, ideally one that evokes emotion or thought.

7. Present a striking statistic or fact

Similar to the opening, a surprising statistic at the end can underscore the significance of your topic.

8. Use visuals

A powerful, final visual can help etch your message in the audience’s memory, so choose an image that encapsulates the essence of your story, leaving a lasting impression that resonates beyond the final words.

9. Invite questions

Encourage audience interaction by opening the floor for questions. It signals the end of your formal presentation while allowing engagement.

10. Express gratitude

Always end by thanking your audience for their time and attention. It helps leave a positive, respectful impression.

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Tricks for a memorable presentation conclusion

1. Practice your closing

Just like your opening, rehearse your conclusion to deliver it confidently and effectively.

2. Keep it concise and to the point

Your ending slide for presentation should be concise but powerful. Avoid introducing new information; focus on wrapping up instead.

3. Use a consistent tone

Ensure your presentation matches the tone of your entire presentation. A mismatch can lessen the impact.

4. Provide additional resources

If applicable, offer further reading or resources for those interested in exploring your topic more deeply.

5. Leave time for the conclusion

Plan your presentation so you’re not rushing through the end of presentation slide. Remember, your conclusion is crucial for lasting impact.

Special focus: how to end a timeshare presentation

Ending a timeshare presentation effectively is essential for leaving a lasting impression and potentially closing a sale. Here are three effective strategies for how to end a presentation of this type:

1. Summarize the benefits and address final concerns

Highlight key advantages: Briefly recap the key benefits of the timeshare, focusing on aspects like vacation flexibility, potential cost savings over time, and the quality of the properties. Emphasize the value proposition that your timeshare offers compared to traditional vacation options.

Open the floor for last-minute questions: Open the floor for last-minute questions: After your summary, ask if there are any remaining concerns or questions. This will help show that you’re attentive to the needs and doubts of your audience and willing to provide clarity. Addressing these concerns confidently and honestly is essential, as this can be a deciding factor for many.

2. Create a sense of urgency (but avoid high pressure)

Limited-time offers: Mention any current promotions or discounts available for a limited time. This strategy can encourage quicker decision-making without resorting to high-pressure tactics, which can be off-putting.

Emphasize the popularity of options: If specific dates or locations are popular and tend to get booked quickly, highlight this fact. It subtly suggests that delaying a decision might mean missing out on preferred options.

3. End with a personal touch and explain the next steps

Thank them for their time: A sincere thank you for attending the presentation and considering the timeshare is essential. It leaves a positive impression, regardless of their decision.

Tell what to do next: If they’re interested, outline the exact steps they need to take to proceed. If they’re undecided, provide them with materials to review at home and a clear way to reach out with further questions or to finalize their decision. Make sure they leave with all necessary contact information and an understanding of what to expect next.

Last but not least, don’t forget to follow up. A follow-up call or email after the presentation can be very effective. It allows potential buyers to process the information at their own pace and shows that you value their decision-making process. The follow-up should be respectful and not overly persistent. Remember, the end of presentation is as much about solidifying a positive relationship as it is about closing a deal.

Final word

Incorporating the above tips and tricks will help ensure that your presentation starts and ends on a high note, leaving your audience informed, inspired, and engaged.

Should you find yourself wondering how to start a presentation or unsure about the best ways to end a presentation at any moment of the creative process, consider ordering a custom pitch deck from qualified design experts at SlidePeak. This way, you’ll not only save time but also eliminate the stress associated with presentation design and get a polished, professional presentation that resonates with your audience’s heart and creates an experience you’ll both treasure—and all this in just a matter of hours, not weeks.

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