How to Open Your Persuasive Presentation
Virtually every presentation has to persuade someone of something. Even if your presentation is primarily designed to provide information, you still have to persuade your audience to use that information—that it’s important to do so. The appeal can be emotional or logical, but the opening must cleverly set up your argument.
So, it’s critical that your opening have a logical flow.
The opening includes the first words you say – to set the mood – we call that establishing rapport – something to break the ice .
But right after that, you need to “tell them what you’re going the tell them.” I call it “opening the window” … looking out on your presentation to tell your audience what you see ahead.
First step is to describe the SITUATION, opportunity or problem. Why are you here? What’s the challenge that you’re all facing? It’s immensely important that everyone starts “on the same page” and that they all realize why they’re here—typically, to solve a problem.
Next, present your CREDENTIALS. In other words, why do you have the knowledge or experience to propose the right solution? Way too often we forget this step. Have you solved similar problems in the past, for example? You might even sight an example.
Then present your SOLUTION. However, just summarize it here. In most cases, you should also tell them what you’re going to ask them to do at the end of the presentation. What is the action you want them to take? This isn’t about surprising them at the end. You want them to know where you’re going so that they can closely follow along as your prove your solution is the best one.
Finally, present your AGENDA. Tell them what points you’re going to cover in the body of your presentation to support your solution. And keep it short – because what you’re doing is setting them up for the support arguments – again it’s a window on where you’re going to take them.
4 steps – logical AND persuasive. Good luck with your next persuasive presentation!