How to Make the Audience Sit Up and Pay Attention within 15 Seconds while Making a Presentation

You might have heard the powerful cliché – first impression is the last impression.

In case of a presentation, the time capsule for first impression does not last more than 15 seconds. It is this time limit, during which the spectators decide whether to listen to what you have to say or bring out their mobiles to text and play games.

So how do you grab attention of the audience in such a short time?

Read on and you will know how.

In this article I will introduce 4 golden rules which should be remembered while starting a presentation.


  • 1

    Skip the Intro Part

    Whenever you are trying to present something to an audience, there are high chances that they actually know you beforehand, for example during office presentations, public speaking events and student presentations etc.

    Considering that, doesn’t it make sense to skip the introduction part and prevent your audience from getting bored by your personal details?

    It certainly does.

    To make the requisite impact up front, the best way is to go about the business directly. Still, if you have an urge to let the audience know about the detailed agenda, you can provide them with a short bio and statement in paper form before starting. In case you have been invited to speak on a topic or issue, let others introduce you before you initiate your conversation.

  • 2

    Warm up Jokes – Please No!

    How these jokes became an essential part of presentations still remains a mystery to me. There are only so many jokes which can be used in presentations and the probability of your audience already knowing the punch line of the one you intend to use is very high. Plus, more often than not, they are completely irrelevant. So avoid boring them and get to the point straightaway.

  • 3

    Do Not Try to Prove Yourself Right at the Start

    Many people have a habit to deliver a punch line highlighting their personal or professional credibility. For example, many people will try to introduce their rather glorious background. Avoid doing that and let the people judge you on the basis your presentation and the substance in it.

  • 4

    Open with a Bang

    The best way to drop some jaws right at the start is to introduce the wow factor, which should basically be something which you have achieved or tried to achieve. For example, if you have developed a design criterion for testing a unique material, you can start off with this question.

    Do you know that before 2013, there was no criterion available for the testing of 3-D composites?

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