As ARTiculate Real & Clear coaches, we often suggest that people flip the order of their presentations. A common presenting error is to try to build up to the point over the course of the presentation, when, in fact, it’s better to state the main point right away, and then offer supporting evidence. Don’t save the best for last. Give the BANG right from the start. Just as a reader will read the abstract to get the overall meaning of the paper or book, the audience will hear the BANG at the beginning, lean in and want to know more, rather than wonder “where is this talk going?”
“A presenter wants to keep the audience with them on the journey, and when the audience is trying to figure out what was either said or meant, they have missed your next point. Note that this is different from entertainment such as in a novel, a film or in storytelling where we like to try to figure out what is going on and what might happen next. In presentations, it is often more effective to give the “bang” first and then explain how you got there.” – Excerpted from the ebook An Attitude Adjustment For Presentation Skills, by Hilary Blair and Robin Miller
Another common presenting error is the desire to lay out the plan for the presentation, and then execute the plan. You don’t need that rambling intro.
“Don’t talk about playing – start the game. Don’t talk about what you are going to talk about, dive in. Our fellow players and audience members have shown up, and you must engage them at the outset. You do not have to tell them where you are going to go – just start going and trust they will follow. You have a limited time to catch the attention of the audience so don’t waste it telling them what you are going to be telling them anyway.” – An Attitude Adjustment For Presentation Skills