Title: How to make presentations: Your introduction

How to Make your Introduction Effective

After deciding on a topic to write about, the next step is to execute your decision: you need to prepare your talk. First, let us talk about the mechanics of preparing your talk. Every talk has three parts: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. You should also consider how to tie the three parts together so that your talk is logical and coherent.

In this post, we will be talking about your introduction. What makes for an effective introduction? An effective introduction should tie in nicely with the tropic. That is, your introduction should say something directly about the keywords in your topic. The people who have chosen to listen to you are listening because of the topic you have chosen, if you say nothing that will keep their interest in the first few minutes, you will lose their attention and may never get it back again.

The Length of Your Introduction

In a five-minute talk, your introduction should not last more than 45 seconds. If you are wondering how long 45 seconds is, stop and watch this advert. Imagine the message that was passed in those 45 seconds. That advert serves to illustrate that you can tell a story in 45 seconds. Now watch this advert. It is even shorter. The message was passed in 30 seconds.

In general, a rule of thumb you can follow is that your introduction should be between ten and fifteen per cent of your entire talk. Therefore, in a two-minute speech, your introduction should be twelve to fifteen seconds, whereas in a three-minute speech, it should be eighteen to twenty-one seconds.

A rule of thumb you can follow is that your introduction should be between ten and fifteen per cent of your entire talk.

How to Choose your Introduction

Your introduction can be an interesting anecdote that eases the audience into your story. This could involve the use of an illustration or a riddle which will unravel at the end of your talk. You can come up with a story that illustrates the most important point in your talk and use it as the opening of your talk. People connect well with stories. For example, when Jesus was speaking about forgiveness, he told a story of a slave who was forgiven his debt but who refused to forgive his fellow slave.

You can also choose to open your talk by explaining the keywords, especially if the keyword(s) is an unknown word or a known word which you are applying in a relatively unknown concept. For example, a speech titled Beware of Hypocrites on shareyouressays.com starts by defining who a hypocrite is. Your choice to define the keywords should be a function of who your primary audience is.

Another way to introduce your talk is by using quotes or a unique statistic. Quotes have a way of making people think. But, when you use quotes, be sure that they are not distracting or need a lot of explaining. The quote should complement the topic.

Sample Introductions

On Motherhood: While I was preparing for this talk, I realized that a few of us may not fully understand the role of a mother in the family. We may have been led to believe that a mother is a person that cooks, cleans, and takes care of the house. We may think that a mother is just a domestic servant. But, mothers are a lot more than that. Let me share with you some less acknowledged roles a mother plays in the home.

On University Education: Many people believe that having a university education is the passport to success. For this reason, many are willing to do anything, including lying and cheating to get a degree. But after they get the degree, they discover that it is not the degree you have but the degree to which you have applied the things you have learnt that brings success or as Mark Twain says, ”It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”. So, what are some alternatives to a university degree?

On Unity: One day, a man called his children together. He gave each of them a piece of string and asked them to snap it apart. They did that very easily. Then he asked them to intertwine the strings. They did that too. He then asked them to pass the string around and try to snap them. They tried but they could not. In this simple way, he taught them the importance of sticking together.


2 thoughts on “How to Make your Introduction Effective”

  1. Pingback: Developing the Body of your Speech - Institute of Certified Communicators

  2. Pingback: How to Write the Conclusion of Your Speech - Institute of Certified Communicators

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