The start and finish of your presentation are among the defining factors of what impression you will leave. Even the best content and the most convincing infographics won’t work if nobody pays attention. And even more importantly, a wonderful presentation can be spoiled with an abrupt or confusing ending. To make a lasting impact, your start and end should be truly memorable. How to do so? In fact, there’s no single answer! Actually, there are several ways for you to start and finish effectively. Let’s dive right into them with our professional presentation service.
How to start a presentation
To sum up, the way you start depends on the nature and tone of your presentation. For some occasions, like internal meetings, a more informal approach is perfectly fine. In other cases, it’s better to resort to formalities. In this article, we’ll try to have a wider take, so that you could find something that better suits your case.
Begin with a “thank you” gesture
At first glance, it may be kinda counterintuitive, since we usually thank for attention, at the end of presentation. However, it is a great way to make the listeners more welcoming. Now, as you have noticed, the title is “a “thank you” gesture” – so it shouldn’t necessarily be a phrase itself. For example, compliment the audience — tell them how important it is for you to have the attention of such great people. Your goal here is to establish a friendly mood. At the same time, try to think of something more or less original for your “thank you” — your audience might be tired of such stuff, especially if you’re not the first and only presenter at the event.
Start with a statement
Get right to the heart of the matter by stating your main purpose or the problem you are reflecting on. Your first sentence may be a fact, an unexpected question, or an opinion — something that would hook your audience right away. A good strategy here is to start a discussion. Ask the listeners about their opinion on the issue you are about to present and at the end of presentation you will be able to ask whether their opinion has changed. This method will help you create an environment of a two-sided conversation instead of you simply talking about something all alone.
Tell a story
People love examples! They help us understand even the most complex topics and are especially useful when explaining new concepts. So, especially when you are pitching your startup or explaining a new concept you just discovered, this is your go-to starting point. The form of your example may vary: for example, it’s common for tech startups to refer to well-known brands to explain their product (the Uber for planes and so on). Your take can be a short story or an anecdote that would give the audience an understanding of what do you present and why they should be interested in this stuff you’re telling them about.
How to end a presentation
Your end of presentation slide is what the audience would probably remember the most. Therefore, it is worth spending some time to make your ending impactful. A common option is to have a slide with the words “Thank You” written in the biggest font available in your presentation tool. With this option in mind, let’s take a look at some more original and interesting options.
Make a short summary
Reinstating your points at the end of the presentation would revive them in the memory of your audience. Try making a short conclusion based on the speech you’ve just delivered. This will allow you to connect with your audience better. It is best to use bullet points for the final presentation slide with several most important points from your speech. A good conclusion will make your presentation look completed and will provide you with a logical ending, that can, however, still leave you with the space to move at the end of presentation. For example, you can question or ask for questions after drawing a conclusion.
Return to the opening
We already touched on this method earlier in the article. Looking back at your opening statement or a phrase brings a great sense of continuity to your end of presentation. At the same time, it allows you to demonstrate to your audience how their perception of the topic might have changed after you provided them with some more context. As with most other methods listed here, what you choose is up to you. You can either put an exact same statement as you’ve put at the beginning or, especially if you were debunking some claims, present an opposing opinion that would still “echo” your initial claim. Overall, it is a highly versatile and structural tool for your end of presentation.
Use some media
Perhaps your audience is a bit tired of talking? Even if your presentation is interesting and engaging, your audience might want a slight change of activity. In this case, to solidify the good impression of your custom pitch deck you’ve already made, put some media at the end of presentation. An ideal choice would be a short video that supports or summarizes your main points. A funny meme can also work quite well, in case the presentation is not too formal. Keep in mind that your meme or video should not only be relevant to your topic but to their position at the end of your presentation as well, so choose wisely!
Overall, the start and the end of your presentation are like a frame for the main content. The start is preparing your audience and catching their attention, while the finish is fixating your success and… catching the attention as well because attention is your most valued asset! Therefore, whatever methods you’ll decide to choose, make them work with each other and with your content. In doing so, lies the secret craft of making outstanding presentations that would leave a lasting impact on your audience and help you achieve your goals.