Question #30: How should I not start a presentation or speech?

There are good ways to start a speech and poor ways. Here are a few openings that can hinder your presentation and possibly ruin the entire speech. Avoid them. There are many better speech openings.

  1. I’m sorry but I did not have time to prepare like I wanted. (See more on starting with an apology)
  2. Thank you for this opportunity and I would like to thank these forty people.
  3. I am not an expert in what I am going to talk to you about.
  4. Sorry about the power point snafu – Rob
  5. Umm. Uh. I. Ah…
  6. I’m going to talk about… – Melanie
  7. I was up last night for half the night and could not sleep. Please bear with me.
  8. I have allergies and a cold, but I’ll try to fight through the pain.
  9. I heard a joke you may like. It has nothing to do with the presentation and you have all probably heard it but I’ll tell it again.
  10. I’m so happy to be here.

What is wrong with most of these? They are “I” focused. The audience is concerned with themselves. What are you bringing to the speaking table.

Instead of these openings check out these articles:

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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