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Starting a presentation in english: methods and examples.

seminar presentation format introduction

If you’re going to make it in the professional world, most likely you’ll have to give a presentation in English at some point. No reason to get nervous!

Most of the work involved lies in the introduction. You may or may not need an English presentation PPT file, your topic, audience, or time limit may vary, but a strong opening is a must no matter what! Everything that follows can build from the opening outline you present to your audience.

Let’s look at some guidelines for starting a presentation in English. If you can master this part, you’ll never have to worry about the rest!

Opening in a Presentation in English

While it’s important to have your entire presentation organized and outlined, planning and organization are especially important in the introduction. This is what will guide you through a clear and concise beginning. Let’s look at how to start a presentation with well-organized thoughts .

Introduction Outline

As we say, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. (No need for a more detailed English presentation script!) Let’s examine the first step.

1. Introduce Yourself & Welcome Everyone

The self-introduction is your opportunity to make a good first impression. Be sure to open with a warm welcome and use language that is familiar and natural. Based on your audience, there are a few different expressions you can use to start your presentation.

If you’re presenting to coworkers who may already know you:

If you’re presenting to people you’ve never met:

There are certainly more ways to make an introduction. However, it’s generally best to follow this format:

2. State the Purpose of Your Presentation

Now that your audience knows who you are and your qualifications, you can state the purpose of your presentation. This is where you clarify to your audience what you’ll be talking about.

So, ask yourself, “ What do I want my audience to get from this presentation? ”

With your goal in mind, you can create the next couple of lines of your presentation. Below are some examples of how to start.

When talking about the purpose of your presentation, stick to your goals. You purpose statement should be only one to three sentences. That way, you can give your audience a clear sense of purpose that sets them up for the rest of the presentation.

3. A Short Overview of the Presentation

The final step in starting your presentation is to give a short outline of what you’ll be presenting. People like a map of what to expect from a presentation.

It helps them organize their thoughts and gives a sense of order. Also, it lets the audience know why they’re listening to you. This is what you’ll use to grab their attention, and help them stay focused throughout the presentation.

Here are some examples of how you can outline your presentation:

That’s it! It’s as simple as 1-2-3. If you have a fear of public speaking or are not confident about presenting to a group of people, follow these three steps. It’s a simple structure that can get you off to a good start. With that in mind, there are other ways to bring your introduction to the next level too! Read on for bonus tips on how to really engage your audience, beyond the basics.

For a Strong Presentation in English, Engage your Audience

Presentations aren’t everyone’s strongest ability, and that’s OK. If you’re newer to presenting in English, the steps above are the basics to getting started. Once you’re more comfortable with presenting, though, you can go a step further with some extra tricks that can really wow your audience.

Mastering the skill of engaging an audience will take experience. Fortunately, there are many famous speakers out there you can model for capturing attention. Also, there are some common techniques that English-speakers use to gain an audience’s attention.

*How and when you use these techniques in your introduction is at your discretion, as long as you cover the 3 steps of the introduction outline that we discussed earlier.*

Do or say something shocking.

The purpose of shocking your audience is to immediately engage them. You can make a loud noise and somehow relate the noise to your presentation. Or, you can say, “ Did you know that… ” and follow with a shocking story or statistic. Either way, the objective is to create surprise to draw their attention.

Tell a story

Telling a story related to your presentation is a great way to get the audience listening to you.

You can start by saying, “ On my way to [location] the other day… ” or “ On my way here, I was reminded of… ” and then follow with a story. A good story can make your presentation memorable.

Ask your audience to take part

Sometimes a good introduction that captures attention will involve asking for help from the audience. You can ask the audience to play a quick game or solve a puzzle that’s related to your presentation. Also, you could engage the audience with a group exercise. This is a great way to get people involved in your presentation.

There are many more ways to engage the audience, so get creative and see what you can think up! Here are some resources that will help you get started.

Also, if you want to get better at public speaking (and help your English speaking too!), a great organization to know about is the Toastmasters . The organization is dedicated to helping you be a better speaker, and there are many local groups in America. They offer free lessons and events to help you master your English speaking, and also offer additional help to paying members.

The Takeaway

A presentation in English? No problem, as long as your introduction sets you up for success . Admittedly, this can be easier said than done. Native speakers and non-native speakers alike sometimes struggle with getting a good start on their English presentation. But the advice above can help you get the confidence you need to lay a good foundation for your next speech !

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How to Organize Your Introduction for a Presentation in English

May 1, 2018 | Business Professional English , Presentations in English

How to Organize Your Introduction for a Presentation in English - Lesson

This lesson on how to organize your introduction for a presentation in English has been updated since its original posting in 2016 and a video has been added.

Getting ready to present in English? Here’s how to make sure your introduction for a presentation in English is successful.

But first… When you think about a presentation, I know you’re thinking about something like a TED video or a presentation at a conference. You’re thinking about a speech, with PowerPoint slides and a big audience.

But did you know we use the same skills when we share new information or ideas with our work colleagues? Or when we tell stories to our friends and family? The situation or speaking task may be different but we still use the same skills.

When presenting information or telling stories, we need to:

So today you’re going to learn how to take the first big step in your English presentation: how to start with a great introduction.

The introduction is the most important part of your presentation. It is the first impression you’ll make on your audience. It’s your first opportunity to get their attention. You want them to trust you and listen to you right away.

However, that first moment when you start to speak is often the hardest. Knowing how to best prepare and knowing what to say will help you feel confident and ready to say that first word and start your presentation in English.

Be sure to include these 5 things in your inroduction.

Lesson by Annemarie

How to Organize Your Introduction for a Presentation in English and Key Phrases to Use

Organize Your Introduction Correctly

Okay, first let’s focus on what you need to include in your English introduction. Think of this as your formula for a good introduction. Using this general outline for your introduction will help you prepare. It will also help your audience know who you are, why you’re an expert, and what to expect from your presentation.

Use this general outline for your next presentation:

Use Common Language to Make Your Introduction Easy to Understand

Great, now you have the general outline of an introduction for a speech or presentation in English. So let’s focus on some of the key expressions you can use for each step. This will help you think about what to say and how to say it so you can sound confident and prepared in your English presentation.

“The introduction is the most important part of your presentation. It is the first impression you’ll make on your audience. It’s your first opportunity to get their attention. You want them to trust you and listen to you right away.”

Welcome Your Audience & Introduction

It is polite to start with a warm welcome and to introduce yourself. Everyone in the audience will want to know who you are. Your introduction should include your name and job position or the reason you are an expert on your topic. The more the audience trusts you, the more they listen.

Capture Their Attention

For more information about how to best capture your audience’s attention and why, please see the next session below. However, here are a few good phrases to get you started.

Identify Your Goal or Topic of Presentation

At this stage, you want to be clear with your audience about your primary topic or goal. Do you want your audience to take action after your talk? Is it a topic everyone is curious about (or should be curious about)? This should be just one or two sentences and it should be very clear.

Outline Your Presentation

You may have heard this about presentations in English before:

First, tell me what you’re going to tell me. Then tell me. And finally, tell me what you told me.

It sounds crazy and weird, but it’s true. This is how we structure presentations in English. So today we’re focusing on the “First, tell me what you’re going to tell me” for your introduction. This means you should outline the key points or highlights of your topic.

This prepares your listens and helps to get their attention. It will also help them follow your presentation and stay focused. Here are some great phrases to help you do that.

On Asking Questions

You want to be sure to let you audience know when and how it is appropriate for them to ask you questions. For example, is the presentation informal and is it okay for someone to interrupt you with a question? Or do you prefer for everyone to wait until the end of the presentation to ask questions?

Capture Your Audience’s Attention

Do you feel unsure about how to capture the attention of your audience? Don’t worry! Here are some common examples used in English-speaking culture for doing it perfectly!

Two of the most famous speakers in the English-speaking world are Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey. While Steve Jobs is no longer living, people still love to watch his speeches and presentations online. Oprah is so famous that no matter what she does, people are excited to see her and listen to her.

BUT, if you listen to a speech by Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey,  they still  work  to get your attention!

The don’t start with a list of numbers or data. They don’t begin with a common fact or with the title of the presentation. No – they do much more.

From the moment they start their speech, they want you to listen. And they find interesting ways to get your attention. In his most famous speeches, Steve Jobs often started with a personal story. And Oprah often starts with an inspiring quote, a motivational part of a poem, or a personal story.

These are all great ways to help your audience to listen to you immediately – whether your presentation is 3 minutes or 20 minutes.

Here’s how you can do it.

Like Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey, start with a:

And finally, consider audience participation. Ask a question and get your audience to respond by raising hands.

Get the complete Presentations in English Series:

Part 1: How to Prepare for Your Presentation in English

Part 2: How to Start with a Great Introduction in Your Presentation

Part 3:  How to Organize Your Presentation in English

Part 4:  How to End Your Presentation Powerfully

As I mentioned in the video, I have two question for you today:

Be sure to share in the comments below to get feedback from me and to learn from others in the Confident English Community.

Have a great week! ~ Annemarie

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guest

Thank you, Annemarie. thanks for the generosity of sharing useful and systemative information and content.

Dharitri karjee

This is really a very informative message thank you.. And it’s help me a lot

yami

hi thank you for this It was helpful. You used simple english that i understood well.

Gassimu Zoker

How to start with a great presentation on composition

Anshika Abhay Thakur

Thankyou for the information . It was much helpful . I will definitely use this information in my presentation 🤗

Thang Sok

Hi, I am Thang Sok Do you have a Sample presentation?

Khadija

This was helpful but can you please tell me how to start a presentation in college because this is for work in a company. My presentation is on laboratory skills and all that

Anum

Its informative

Yasin Hamid

Thank you for this video! I’ve learned quite a lot and will want to use all these knowledge in presenting my thesis proposal in 2 months. About your question no. 2, I’d just like to share that the mere fact of presenting in front of many respected professionals makes me already nervous and shaky even if i have studied everything about my presentation. What do you think should i do to deal with my concern?

martineromy940

Could you give me advise, how to start learning English for beginner.How to prepare presentation on any topic and how to make interesting..

Pratik

Thank u so much for valuable advice. Definitely I will used this in my presentation!!

Farangiz

Thank you very much for these kind of useful advice. I hope my first presentation will be exciting for the audience.Your video is helping me again thanks a lot 😊

yumna

hi, i’m B.COM student and I have to prepare presentation about identifying business opportunities. How to start and an attractive attention to my audience.. Please Help me…

Nancy Tandui

very nise and educative piece of information thank you nancy nairobi kenya

kanishka mishra

i am starting a video speech shooting in night about a famouse person how do i start my speech with a good intro.

Kate

Hi again how do you do a introduction goodbye

kate

Hi i do not know what you are talking about

Annemarie

Hi Kate, I’m sorry to hear you’re not sure about the content. I recommend reviewing the video carefully if you haven’t already. Is there something specific you have a question about?

Tooba

thanks a lot for guiding in such an easier way.

Amit

Your write-up on introduction helped a lot, thank you Annemarie. I work for cross-geography team and greetings get lengthy as timezones are different e.g. “Good evening to those joining from US office and good morning to colleagues from India office”. I replaced that with “Thank you everyone for joining”. Is it okay?

Hi Amit, I’m so glad it was helpful. As for your greeting, both of your options are perfectly appropriate and friendly.

znb

How to introduce group members in online presentation?

Great question! I’d love to use that for a future Confident English lesson.

zarsha

its amazing. i can’t explain in wording. this material helping me a lot. i am so happy after use this website . its make easy for me preparing my presentation more interesting. i am thankful too u.

jinah

thanks! i use your materials to teach my students(clinets) how to prepare a presentation. is it ok to use them on my materials?

Matangi

Hi! I am a student from the USP from Tuvaluan and i take CEE45 so our assessment 2 is to prepared a group presentation and we presented in school. so need your help for how to start an attractive introduction to my teacher and my fellow students, they already kwow me.

Zainab

Thank you.. very helpful

Moataz Saleh

Very useful

Taha

It was very use Gul for or presentations

Gaman Aryal

Hi. I am a 1st year BIT student and I have to prepare a presentation on 3D Printing. how to start an attractive introduction to my teachers, when they already know about me? Can you please help me out? Thank you.

Andrew

I just took 1st place for my paper that I presented at an international students conference. I used a lot of your techniques to improve my speech and I have no words to say how grateful I am to you. Keep up the good work!

😲WOW!! That’s awesome, Andrew. 🙌Congratulations on your presentation. What a wonderful response to your hard work. I’d love to know what you presentation was about. And thank you for sharing your new here. I’m thrilled to know that my techniques were helpful to you.

The title of the presentation was “Handling burnout: A study regarding the the influence of job stressors over military and civilian personel”. I can sent you my paper through email if you would like to see it.

Hi Andrew, what a fascinating topic. And it’s interesting because I just had a newspaper reporter interview me about burnout as a small business owner. Must be a hot topic. 🙂 And sure, I’d love to see it.

Mariya

🔥❤ too goodd

Helia

Hello Annemarie, Thank you so much for one of the best content on the English presentation, I’ve seen. I have a question: Is it impolite or informal to start the presentation without a greeting? I’m asking this question because I’ve seen a lot of TEDTalks and in only a few of them, they greet the audience and in most of it, they quickly go to the “CAPTURING the ATTENTION” with numbers and pictures. I would be so thankful if you could answer this question as soon as possible, my presentation is so close. Best regards, Helia

Hi Helia, What a great question. It has definitely become more common to skip the greeting and go straight to capturing the attention of the audience and you’re right that we often see this in TED talks. I would say it’s best to know your audience and what might be expected. For example, at more formal, traditional conferences or lecture, it might be more appropriate to start with a welcome. I prefer to welcome/thank my audience quickly at the start when I give presentations. A welcome can be very brief, just one sentence, and then you can quickly go into …  Read more »

Vivek Shukla

Hi Annemarie I would like to thank you for giving such types of presentation skills but I have a question can you give me some idea about vote of thinks.

I’m glad the lessons are helpful to you. Could you clarify what you mean by ‘vote of thinks?’ I’m not sure I understand that.

Bello

Please can you give me some idea about vote of thanks

Could you clarify what you’re asking for, Bello?

Amrit

Thanks a lot

Glad it was helpful!

tadla

it is agood i learn alot from this english class

Radha Mohan

Hello.i would like to thank you for giving these beautiful tips to start a presentation.This article helped me a lot.

That’s great, Radha. Glad to hear it.

Mithun Kumar

Thanks for your article. It’s simply for interpersonal skill development.

You’re welcome, Mithun. Glad to know it was helpful.

Swetha

Hi Annemarie . Thank you so much for giving such helpful guildelines it’s really gonna help me

I’m glad it’s helpful, Swetha! 🙂

dawharu boro

thank you for help me

You’re very welcome!

Tom

Hi Anne Marie, i ‘m from Catalonia and i came across with your site only by chance and i think it’gonna be so helpful for me to pass the next test for c1 level. Several weeks ago i did some rehersals with my presentation and i was so nervous and terrified about what was expected from me.

Some tips in your youtube channel are so cool !!! Thank you.

Hi Tom, I’m thrilled you’ve found this site in your preparations for your English exam and am glad to know it’s helpful! Best of luck as you continue to prepare.

Fatima

Hi Annemarie Thanks it’s so useful to develop presentation skill. Fatima

You’re very welcome, Fatima! I’m glad it was helpful.

Dzmitry

Awesome, especially this simple and clear motto: “First, tell me what you’re going to tell me. Then tell me. And finally, tell me what you told me.” This three sentences exactly explain the content you need to create a memorable presentation.

Hi Dzmitry,

Yes, I’ve always loved that simple motto on how to do a presentation. 🙂 It’s so easy to remember and tells you exactly what to do.

Mahbub

hello I need to introduce myself to language center. i am going to learn Danish Language and i want to introduce myself to them and i am little bit nervous because my grammar is not good at that level.so will you please guide me how to introduce myself to them with an example. i did go through your examples but that is for professionals and i am just a student (Graduate). I don’t have any experience . Please guide me how to do it.

Navin Shivram SS

I was in a confused state about starting a conversation and proceeding in it but when I read the guidelines you mentioned above I became confident. thank you for your innumerable ………….

Salma

Thank you so much…… it’s an excellent topic, and it helped me a lot

I’m so glad this was helpful to you! Thank you for sharing.

rebecca

hi annemarie i have a few questions about a speech i have to make a englishi speech of what i want to become can you help me?

Hi Rebecca,

Thank you for the question. I have several lessons on the topic of presentations in English . However, for personal assistance with English or presentations, I only do that through my one-on-one classes .

Shalini Tripathi

thank you so much…… it’s really helpful for me….

You’re very welcome, Shalini.

Mohammed Zaid ameen

Thanks its really nice to develop the presentation skills

Awesome. I’m glad it was helpful to you, Mohammed.

dinesh dhakar

I have to give a demo on one of your programs next week. I would like you to check my self introduction – Good afternoon everyone and thank you for all of your presence. Before we get into the session I would like to quickly introduce myself. My name is Dinesh . I am working as a Pharmaceutical sale and promotion of the brands for Arrient Healthcare. I am in this filed for the past ten years. Before becoming trainer I worked as a medical representatives for different pharma company . I am highly interested in learning from people and …  Read more »

Monica

Please ignore my previous comment. Yea the demo was a success. So hereafter I will say”I have been in this field for the past four years. Actually I worked for different consultancies so I didn’t include an article there.

Monica

I have to give a demo on one of your programs next week. I would like you to check my self introduction – Good afternoon everyone and thank you for all of your presence. Before we get into the session I would like to quickly introduce myself. My name is Monica. I am working as a Soft Skill Trainer at Synergy School of Business Skills. I am in this filed for the past four years. Before becoming trainer I worked as a Recruiter for different job consultancy. I am highly interested in learning from people and I think teaching/training is …  Read more »

Thank you for sharing your example! One note: “I am in this field for the past four years.” –> Don’t forget, when we’re talking about something that started in the past and continues to now, we use the present perfect. How might you change this sentence to fix the grammar?

Also, we want to add an article to, “… I worked as a recruiter for [a] different job consultancy.”

I wish you much success in your demo this week! Best, Annemarie

Yea the demo was a success! So hereafter I will say”I have been for the past four years. Actually I worked for different consultancies.

Fadia

I like it but I think capturing their attention is the most difficult part in preparing a presentation. From my little experience, I used to talk about something out of the scope of the presentation in order to grasp their attention. For example, I had a presentation about medical terminology and its parts (suffix, prefix —). So I provided example which is Ultra Violet then I talked about the ultraviolet in the sun and Vitamin D deficiency. They liked the talk because it is very important to them and by this topic I captured their attention more and more.

Hello Fadia, I’m sorry I’m so late in responding to your comment! I agree with you: capturing attention is very challenging to do. It requires understanding your audience, knowing what is important to them, and how to connect with them. In English-speaking culture, we often connect by telling a story or showing we understand a problem the audience has. I think you’re exactly right to talk about something that is maybe “off topic” or out of the scope of the presentation, as you said, to get their attention first. It sounds like you did a great job in your experience!! …  Read more »

sonam

hi there it was great going through your enlightening presentation skills however i would be even more delighted if you put some quotes for various PPT’s which will give us an instant ideas during the adhoc PPT like myself…just a suggestion.

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30 useful phrases for presentations in English

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For non-native speakers giving a presentation in English can be quite a challenge. There are just so many aspects to consider.  

Firstly, the audience. Do you know them well? In which case more informal language can be used. Or are they unfamiliar to you? If this is the case, then more formal expressions should be adopted. Whether you use more formal or informal language, it is important to engage the audience through positive body language and a warm welcome. Your tone of voice and changes in intonation are additional useful tools and you might consider asking them relevant questions (real or  rhetorical ). 

The  audience  also needs to see a clear and logical structure to follow you effortlessly. Useful linking expressions, when delivered well, provide  effective  ‘bridges’ guiding the audience from one point to the next.    

Here are 30 useful phrases for presentations in English for effective  structure and linking.  

Introduction

Presentation structure

Sequencing phrases

Highlighting information

Improve your confidence in spoken English with our General English course or  Individual English training   in our centre in London or online.

Hopefully, these phrases help you to vary your vocabulary for clear, well-structured presentations with a logical joined-up flow. The most important thing, of course, is that you are comfortable and confident in your delivery, which helps the audience feels relaxed and ready to be engaged by your subject matter. Good luck! 

Glossary 

Rhetorical  -  (of a question) asked in order to produce an effect or to make a statement rather than to elicit information 

Audience  -  spectators or listeners at a public event such as a play, film, concert, or meeting 

Effectiv e -  successful in producing a desired or intended result 

Springboard -  springboard is also something that provides an opportunity to achieve something  

Handout - a document given to students or reporters that contains information about a particular subject 

Q&A  – an abbreviation for ‘question and answer’ 

Related blog posts 

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Posted: 13 February 2020

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Home Blog Presentation Ideas How to Start a Presentation: 5 Strong Opening Slides and 9 Tricks To Test

How to Start a Presentation: 5 Strong Opening Slides and 9 Tricks To Test

Cover image of a How to Start a Presentation article with an illustration of a presenter giving a speech.

Knowing how to start a presentation is crucial: if you fail to capture the audience’s attention right off the bat, your entire presentation will flop. Few listeners will stick with you to the end and retain what you have told.

That is mildly unpleasant when you are doing an in-house presentation in front of your colleagues. But it can become utterly embarrassing when you present in front of larger audiences (e.g., at a conference) or worse – delivering a sales presentation to prospective customers.

Here is how most of us begin a presentation: give an awkward greeting, thank everyone for coming, clear our throats, tap the mic and humbly start to mumble about our subject. The problem with such an opening performance? It effectively kills and buries even the best messages.

How to Start a PowerPoint Presentation The Right Way

Let’s say you have all of your presentation slides polished up (in case you don’t, check our quick & effective PowerPoint presentation design tips first). Your presentation has a clear storyline and agenda. Main ideas are broken into bite-sized statements for your slides and complemented with visuals. All you have left is to figure out how you begin presenting.

The best way is to appeal to and invoke certain emotions in your audience – curiosity, surprise, fear, or good-old amusements. And here’s how it’s done.

1. The Classic Trick: Open with An Introduction

Bio Slide design for PowerPoint

When you don’t feel like reinventing the wheel, use a classic trick from the book – start with a quick personal introduction. Don’t want to sound as boring as everyone else with your humble “Hi, I’m John, the head of the Customer Support Department”? Great, because we are all about promoting effective presentation techniques (hint: using a dull welcome slide isn’t one of them).

Here’s how to introduce yourself in a presentation the right way.

a. Use a link-back memory formula.  To ace a presentation, you need to connect with your audience. The best way to do so is by throwing in a simple story showing who you are, where you came from, and why the things you will say matter.

The human brain loves a good story, and we are more inclined to listen and retain the information told this way. Besides, when we can relate to the narrator (or story hero), we create an emotional bond with them, and, again – become more receptive, and less skeptical of the information that is about to be delivered.

So here are your presentation introduction lines:

My name is Joanne, and I’m the Head of Marketing at company XYZ. Five years ago I was working as a waitress, earning $10/hour and collecting rejection letters from editors. About ten letters every week landed to my mailbox. You see, I love words, but decent publisher thought mine were good enough. Except for the restaurant owner. I was very good at up-selling and recommending dishes to the customers. My boss even bumped my salary to $15/hour as a token of appreciation for my skill. And this made me realize: I should ditch creative writing and focus on copywriting instead. After loads of trial and error back in the day, I learned how to write persuasive copy. I was no longer getting rejection letters. I was receiving thousands of emails saying that someone just bought another product from our company. My sales copy pages generated over $1,500,000 in revenue over last year. And I want to teach you how to do the same”

b. Test the Stereotype Formula.  This one’s simple and effective as well. Introduce yourself by sharing an obvious stereotype about your profession. This cue will help you connect with your audience better, make them chuckle a bit, and set a lighter mood for the speech to follow.

Here’s how you can frame your intro:

“My name is ___, and I am a lead software engineer at our platform [Your Job Title]. And yes, I’m that nerdy type who never liked presenting in front of large groups of people. I would rather stay in my den and write code all day long. [Stereotype]. But hey, since I have mustered enough courage…let’s talk today about the new product features my team is about to release….”

After sharing a quick self-deprecating line, you transition back to your topic, reinforcing the audience’s attention . Both of these formulas help you set the “mood” for your further presentation, so try using them interchangeably on different occasions.

2. Open with a Hook

Wow your audience straight off the bat by sharing something they would not expect to hear. This may be one of the popular first-time presentation tips, but don’t rush to discard it.

Because here’s the thing: psychologically , we are more inclined to pay attention whenever presented with an unexpected cue. When we know what will happen next – someone flips the switch and lights turn on – we don’t really pay much attention to that action.

But when we don’t know what to expect next – e.g., someone flips the switch and a bell starts ringing – we are likely to pay more attention to what will happen next. The same goes for words: everyone loves stories with unpredictable twists. So begin your presentation with a PowerPoint introduction slide or a line that no one expects to hear.

Here are a few hook examples you can swipe:

a. Open with a provocative statement. It creates an instant jolt and makes the audience intrigued to hear what you are about to say next – pedal back, continue with the provocation, or do something else that they will not expect.

TED.com Jane McGonigal Ted Talk - This Game Will Give You 10 Years of Life

Image Source: TED

“You will live seven and a half minutes longer than you would have otherwise, just because you watched this talk.”

That’s how Jane McGonigal opens one of her TED talks . Shocking and intriguing, right?

b. Ask a rhetorical, thought-provoking question. Rhetorical questions have a great persuasive effect – instead of answering aloud, your audience will silently start musing over it during your presentation. They arose curiosity and motivated the audience to remain attentive, as they do want to learn your answer to this question.

To reinforce your message throughout the presentation, you can further use Rhetorical Triangle Concept – a rhetorical approach to building a persuasive argument based on Aristotle’s teachings.

c. Use a bold number, factor stat. A clean slide with some mind-boggling stat makes an undeniably strong impact. Here are a few opening statement examples you can use along with your slide:

3. Begin with a Captivating Visual

Compelling visuals are the ABC of presentation design – use them strategically to make a bold stamen at the beginning and throughout your presentation. Your first presentation slide can be text-free. Communicate your idea with a visual instead – a photo, a chart, an infographic, or another graphics asset.

Visuals are a powerful medium for communication as our brain needs just 13 milliseconds to render what our eyes see, whereas text comprehension requires more cognitive effort.

Relevant images add additional aesthetic appeal to your deck, bolsters the audience’s imagination, and make your key message instantly more memorable.

Here’s an intro slide example. You want to make a strong presentation introduction to global pollution.  Use the following slide to reinforce the statement you share:

Our Iceberg Is Melting Concept with Penguins in an Iceberg

“Seven of nine snow samples taken on land in Antarctica found chemicals known as PFAs, which are used in industrial products and can harm wildlife”

Source: Reuters

4. Ask a “What if…” Question

The “what if” combo carries massive power. It gives your audience a sense of what will happen if they choose to listen to you and follow your advice.  Here are a few presentations with starting sentences + slides to illustrate this option:

What if example with an Opening Slide for Presentation

Alternatively, you can work your way to this point using different questions:

What if technique analysis for a Financial topic

5. Use the Word “Imagine”

“Imagine,” “Picture This,” and “Think of” are better word choices for when you plan to begin your presentation with a quick story.

Our brain loves interacting with stories. In fact, a captivating story makes us more collaborative. Scientists have discovered that stories with tension during narrative make us:

That’s why good action movies often feel empowering and make us want to change the world too. By incorporating a good, persuasive story with a relatable hero, you can also create that “bond” with your audience and make them more perceptive to your pitch – donate money to support the cause; explore the solution you are offering, and so on.

6. Leverage The Curiosity Gap

The curiosity gap is another psychological trick frequently used by marketers to solicit more clicks, reads, and other interactions from the audience. In essence, it’s the trick you see behind all those clickbait, Buzzfeed-style headlines:

Curiosity Gap example clickbait Buzzfeed

Image: Buzzfeed

Not everyone is a fan of such titles. But the truth is – they do the trick and instantly capture attention. The curiosity gap sparks our desire to dig deeper into the matter. We are explicitly told that we don’t know something important, and now we crave to change that. Curiosity is an incredibly strong driving force for action – think Eve, think Pandora’s Box.

So consider incorporating these attention grabbers for your presentation speech. You can open with one, or strategically weave them in the middle of your presentation when you feel like your audience is getting tired and may lose their focus.

Here’s how you can use the curiosity gap during your presentation:

7. The Power of Silence

What would you do if you attended a presentation in which the speaker remains silent for 30 seconds after the presentation starts? Just the presenter, standing in front of the audience, in absolute silence.

Most likely, your mind starts racing with thoughts, expecting something of vital importance to be disclosed. The surprise factor with this effect is for us to acknowledge things we tend to take for granted.

It is a powerful resource to introduce a product or to start an inspirational presentation if followed by a fact.

8. Facts as Weapons of Communication

In some niches, using facts as the icebreaker is the best method to retain the audience’s interest.

Say your presentation is about climate change. Why not introduce a not-so-common fact, such as the amount of wool that can be produced out of oceanic plastic waste per month? And since you have to base your introduction on facts, research manufacturers that work with Oceanic fabrics from recycled plastic bottles .

Using facts helps to build a better narrative, and also gives leverage to your presentation as you are speaking not just from emotional elements but from actually recorded data backed up by research.

Closing Thoughts

Now you know how to start your presentation – you have the opening lines, you have the slides to use, and you can browse even more attractive PowerPoint presentation slides and templates on our website. Also, we recommend you visit our article on Key Insights on How To End a Presentation Effectively in order to apply the best practices in your slides and how to make a PowerPoint Presentation .

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How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation [with Examples]

How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation with Examples

In this post, we are going to cover the best way, a very simple three-step process that will help you introduce yourself in a presentation. A summary of the steps is below.

I will break down each step into a simple-to-follow process. But first… a little background.

First, Identify What Your Audience Wants from Your Presentation

Create an Introduction for Yourself that Makes the Audience Care About the Topic

So, before you design your introduction, think about what your audience wants from your presentation. Why do they want to spend their valuable time listening to you? Are going to waste their time? Or, are you going to provide them with something valuable?

For instance, I have expertise in a number of different areas. I’m a public speaking coach, a keynote speaker, a best-selling author, a search engine optimization specialist, and a popular podcaster. However, if I delivered that sentence to any audience, the most likely reaction would be, “So what?” That sentence doesn’t answer any of the above questions. The statement is also really “me-focused” not “audience-focused.”

So, when I start to design my self-introduction, I want to focus just on the area of expertise related to my topic. I’m then going to answer the questions above about that particular topic. Once you have these answers, set them aside for a second. They will be important later.

How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation in Class.

If Everyone Already Knows You DON'T Introduce Yourself

Instead, you probably want to add in a fun way to start a speech . For example, instead of introducing yourself in your class speech and starting in an awkward way, start with a startling statistic. Or start with a summary of your conclusion. Or, you could start the presentation with an inspirational quote.

Each of these presentation starters will help you lower your nervousness and decrease your awkwardness.

If you are delivering a speech in a speech competition or to an audience who doesn’t know you try this technique. Just introduce yourself by saying your name , the school you represent , and your topic . Make it easy. This way you get to your content more quickly and lower your nervousness.

Typically, after you get the first few sentences out of the way, your nervousness will drop dramatically. Since your name, school, and topic should be very easy to remember, this takes the pressure off you during the most nervous moments.

Obviously, follow the guidelines that your teacher or coach gives you. (The competition may have specific ways they want you to introduce yourself.)

How to Introduce Yourself in a Business Presentation — A Step-by-Step Guide.

How to Introduce Yourself in a Business Presentation-A Step-by-Step Guide

In a professional setting, when new people walk into a meeting and don’t know what to expect, they will feel uncomfortable. The easiest way to ease some of that tension is to chat with your audience as they come into the room.

By the way, if you are looking for a template for an Elevator Speech , make sure to click this link.

Step #1: Start with your name and company name (or organization).

This one is easy. Just tell your audience your name and the organization that you are representing. If your organization is not a well-known brand name, you might add a short clarifying description. For instance, most people outside of the training industry have never heard of The Leader’s Institute ®. So, my step #1 might sound something like…

Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company…

Still short and sweet, but a little more clear to someone who has never heard of my company.

Should you give your job title? Well… Maybe and sometimes. Add your title into the introduction only if your title adds to your credibility.

For example, if you are delivering a financial presentation and you are the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of your company, you might mention that. Your title adds to your credibility. However, if the CFO is delivering a presentation about the value of joining a trade association, the CFO title adds little credibility. So, there is very little value in adding the title.

Step #2: Tell your audience what problem you can solve for them.

Identify the Problem You Solve for Your Audience

For instance, if my topic is how to deliver presentations, I have to determine why the audience would care. What problem will they have that I can help them with? For my audiences, the problem that I most often help people with is how to eliminate public speaking fear. Once I have the problem, I add that to my introduction by using the words, “I help people…”

Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company, and I help people eliminate public speaking fear.

However, if my topic is How to Close a Higher Percentage of Sales Presentations , I’d likely want to alter my introduction a little. I might say something like…

Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company, and I help people design more persuasive sales presentations.

I have expertise in both areas. However, I focus my introduction on just the expertise that is applicable to this audience. If I gave the first introduction to the second audience, they will likely respond by thinking, well, I don’t really get nervous speaking, so I guess I can tune out of this speech .

So, create a problem statement starting with, “I help people…” Make the statement apply to what your audience really wants.

Step #3: Share some type of proof (social proof works best) that you can solve this problem.

By the way, if you just do steps #1 and #2, your introduction will be better than most that you will hear. However, if you add Step #3, you will gain more respect (and attention) from your audience. Without adding some type of proof that you can solve this problem, you are just giving your opinion that you are an expert. However, if you can prove it, you are also proving that you are an expert.

This is the tricky part. For some reason, most people who get to this part feel like they haven’t accomplished great things, so they diminish the great accomplishments that they do have.

For instance, an easy way to offer proof is with a personal story of how you have solved that problem in the past.

A Few Examples of How to Introduce Yourself Before a Presentation.

For instance, one of my early clients was a young accountant. When I was working with him, he came up with the following introduction, “I’m Gary Gorman with Gorman and Associates CPA’s, and I help small businesses avoid IRS audits.” It was a great, audience-focused attention-getter. (No one wants to get audited.) However, as an accountant, it wasn’t like his company was getting a lot of five-star reviews on Yelp! So, he was kind of struggling with his social proof. So, I asked him a series of questions.

Me, “How many clients do you have?”

Gary, “Over 300.”

Me, “How many small business tax returns have you processed?”

Gary, “Well, at least a couple hundred a year for 15 years.”

Me, “So, at least 3000?” He nodded. “How many of your 300 clients have been audited since you have been representing them?”

He looked at me and said, “Well, none.”

So, we just added that piece of proof to his talk of introduction.

I’m Gary Gorman with Gorman and Associates CPA’s, and I help small businesses avoid IRS audits. In fact, in my career, I’ve helped clients complete over 3000 tax returns, and not a single one has ever been audited.

Here Is How I Adjust My Introduction Based on What I Want the Audience to Do.

For my proof, I have a number of options. Just like Gary, I have had a lot of clients who have had great successes. In addition, I have published two best-selling books about public speaking. I also have hundreds of thousands of people who listen to my podcast each week. So, I can pick my evidence based on what I want my audience to do.

For instance, if I’m speaking at a convention, and I want the audience to come by my booth to purchase my books, my introduction might sound like this.

Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company, and I help people eliminate public speaking fear. One of the things that I’m most know for is being the author of two best-selling books, Fearless Presentations and Mastering Presentations.

However, if I’m leading a webinar, I may want the audience to purchase a seat in one of my classes. In that case, my introduction might sound like this.

Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company, and I help people eliminate public speaking fear. For instance, for the last 20 years, I’ve taught public speaking classes to over 20,000 people, and I haven’t had a single person fail to reduce their nervousness significantly in just two days.

If my goal is to get the audience to subscribe to my podcast, my intro might sound like…

Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company, and I help people eliminate public speaking fear. One of the ways that I do this is with my weekly podcast called, Fearless Presentations, which has over one million downloads, so far.

Use the Form Below to Organize How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation.

The point is that you want to design your introduction in a way that makes people pause and think, “Really? That sounds pretty good.” You want to avoid introductions that make your audience think, “So what?”

If you have a speech coming up and need a good introduction, complete the form below. We will send you your answers via email!

Can You Replace Your Introduction with a PowerPoint Slide?

Is it okay to make your first slide (or second slide) in your presentation slides an introduction? Sure. A good public speaker will often add an introduction slide with a biography, portrait, and maybe even contact information. I sometimes do this myself.

However, I NEVER read the slide to my audience. I often just have it showing while I deliver the short introduction using the guide above. This is a great way to share more of your work experience without sounding like you are bragging.

For tips about how many powerpoint slides to use in a presentation , click here.

Remember that There Is a Big Difference Between Your Introduction in a Presentation and Your Presentation Starter.

When you introduce yourself in a presentation, you will often just use a single sentence to tell the audience who you are. You only use this intro if the audience doesn’t know who you are. Your presentation starter, though, is quite different. Your presentation starter should be a brief introduction with relevant details about what you will cover in your presentation.

For details, see Great Ways to Start a Presentation . In that post, we show ways to get the attention of the audience. We also give examples of how to use an interesting hook, personal stories, and how to use humor to start a presentation.

by Doug Staneart | Podcasts , presentation skills

How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation

Last Updated: May 12, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 115,524 times.

Introducing yourself in a presentation is more than just saying your name. It’s an opportunity for you to share relevant details about yourself and connect with your audience. It also sets the tone for the rest of the talk. How you introduce yourself will influence how your audience receives the message you want to get across. Make your next introduction flawless by presenting the most engaging information about yourself. Be sure to prepare the introduction in advance and start with an attention-grabbing technique to connect to the audience.

Including Relevant Information in Your Introduction

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Grabbing Your Audience’s Attention Before Your Introduction

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Preparing Before Your Presentation

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Expert Q&A

Patrick Muñoz

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Patrick Muñoz

To introduce yourself at the start of your presentation, all you need to do is state your name and tell the audience any relevant experience or skills you have. For example, say something like, “My name is Jacob Misen, and I have over a decade of experience using Facebook marketing ads in the dance industry.” If you have a broad range of relevant experience, you can bullet point a few examples on your opening slide instead of reading them out. Once you’ve introduced yourself, smoothly transition into your presentation. For instance, you can mention a client or project you’ve recently worked on that relates to the topic of your presentation. For more tips, including how to practice your presentation, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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COMMENTS

  1. What Is the Importance of Seminars?

    The importance of seminars is the wealth of knowledge presented and gained during them. A seminar is a presentation, set on a particular topic or group of topics, put forth by an expert in the field.

  2. What Is the Criteria for Judging Presentations?

    When judging a student presentation, the criteria to be evaluated include the student’s introduction, originality while presenting, visual aids used, the organization of the speech and the proficiency in delivering the presentation.

  3. How Do You Write an Introduction to a Project?

    An introduction to a project, paper or verbal presentation engages an audience and provides a concise preview that includes the background of the project, clarifies the points examined and explains the conclusions. An introduction sometimes...

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    It is polite to start with a warm welcome and to introduce yourself. Everyone in the audience will want to know who you are. Your introduction

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    Have a presentation coming up? Want to hook you audience from the start? Then watch this Lighthouse Communications video that gives you a

  9. An easy "presentation example" to introduce your presentation

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  10. How to Start a Presentation: 5 Strong Opening Slides and 9 Tricks

    How to Start a PowerPoint Presentation The Right Way · 1. The Classic Trick: Open with An Introduction · 2. Open with a Hook · 3. Begin with a

  11. How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation [with Examples]

    How to Introduce Yourself in a Presentation [with Examples] · Start with your name and company (or organization or school). · Tell your audience what problem you

  12. 11 Ways to Introduce Yourself Before Giving a Seminar

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    One of the easiest ways to start a presentation is to quote an influential person. In these cases, it's best to use a pithy, short and relevant