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5. Humorous Anecdote – Humor is one of BEST ways to win an audience over and get them enthusiastic about you and your presentation. Humor enhances audience’s positive perception of you. When an audience laughs with you, chances are good they are also FOR YOU! The safest type of humor is stories or anecdotes that are uniquely yours. The problems you had traveling to get to your presentation make humorous presentation stories. Your dinner disaster is always good for a presentation laugh. One reminder worth mentioning--only use humor when you can relate it to subject matter—irrelevant jokes are not suitable presentation openers. Here’s an example of a humorous anecdote… “There is nothing more humbling than honest opinion of a five year old. I was feeling really good about this outfit this morning (even preening a little in front of mirror) when my five year old daughter came up to me and said, mommy, are you going to wear that table cloth to work?”
6. Curiosity – Provoking audience’s sense of curiosity can also help you capture their attention. When we are curious about something, we tend to listen more closely to see how it works out. The TV news trailers you see during Prime Time television often use curiosity to try to entice you into staying up and watching late news. “Tonight at 11:00, find out what vitamin combination can save your life.” In presentation realm, you might use a more subtle tactic, “Today, I’m going to tell you three important things that I guarantee will change way you do business forever…” Because they are curious, audience will pay close attention to see what those things are.
7. Gimmick – The sole purpose of a gimmick is to capture audience’s attention, so it makes sense that beginning with a gimmick is a good strategy. An example of a gimmick might be… A presenter who is going to speak about benefits of a paperless office begins presentation by dramatically crumbling papers and throwing them away. He/She then asks audience to throw away all paper that has been planted in front of them. Note that everyone loves a gimmick, as long as it is in good taste.
Remember, incorporating a good attention getter into introduction of your presentation can mean difference between being MEMORABLE or FORGETTABLE. For much more about this and other Presentation Secrets, check out book "15 Presentation Secrets: How to WOW Even Toughest Audience," by Debbie Bailey available at trainer2go.com/ebooks.html.
Debbie Bailey is author of the book "15 Presentation Secrets - How to WOW Even the Toughest Audience." She is well known for her life changing presentation skills classes. In addition to training at some of the most successful companies in Corporate America, Debbie has also taught Presentation Skills for United States Marines, San Diego State University, and UCLA Extension.