How to start a presentation and grab the audience’s attention

How to start a presentation

and grab your audience’s attention

You only have a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention at the start of your speech

“A survey asked people to rank their worst fears.  Death was number 7. Loneliness was number 9, and speaking in front of a group was number 1. So most people would rather die alone than stand up here and speak to you lot…”

You only have a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention when you stand up and speak.  During those few seconds you have to fight their desire to take out their phone and their day dreams about dinner or worries about work.  So make those few seconds count – say something that will grab their attention and let them know that you are going to inform, educate and entertain them if they keep on listening.

Don’t start by telling them your name and who you work for – they probably already know that because it says so on the programme, or on your slides, or someone just introduced you before you walked onto the stage.

Start your presentation with one of these sure fire attention grabbers:

  • An interesting or controversial fact – such as the fear list used at the start of this article.

  • A question that will get the audience thinking – it must be relevant to your audience and your topic.

  • Tell a story, short and perhaps humorous – especially if you are the fall-guy.

You can learn advanced script-writing techniques including how to start and end your presentation and everything in between on our Stand up and Speak course. Check the course schedule here: or contact me to arrange a private course in your office.