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7 Great Ways To Start Off Your Presentation (Spoiler: Make It Interactive!)

05/03/2020 in Public Events

Lindsie Nguyen

Public Speaking Trainer

"Welcome to my presentation"

We all know well begun is half done. The introduction can set the tone for the whole presentation, set the expectations of your audience and get everyone hyped up for your upcoming performance. Yet sometimes it is preparing the opening of your presentation that drives you mad the most!

There are so many things you shall opt for when you start off the presentation:

  • Keep it simple and easy to follow
  • Tone the atmosphere of the event
  • Fit everyone’s shoes – go with their personalities, beliefs and experiences

This might sound like an impossible mission, but Icebreakers are here for you to kick off a powerful presentation! Here are 7 of our favourite icebreaker activities you can apply to engage your audience:

Let’s move on to discover how game-changing these icebreakers can be to your introduction!

1. Share expectations

Different people have different expectations and different background knowledge when coming to attend your presentations, so it can bring good hindsights when you can get to know about their objectives. You can adjust your presenting style to adapt to people’s needs and meet the expectations of everyone.

You can do this by holding a small Q&A session on AhaSlides at the very beginning of your presentation, and inviting attendees to send out questions that they are curious about.

Some questions that I am happy to be asked:

Expectation Sharing Slide

2. Tell stories

People love it when they are given the chance to stand in the spotlight and tell their own stories. However, jumping right into asking them to tell stories may get on their nerves for fear of saying something not-so-funny.

A good way to do this is to create an Open-Ended question on AhaSlides and invite the audience to type in their stories. The topic is of your choice, most favourably it should have to do with their memorable experiences on something related to the topic of your speech.

Through this activity, people not only get connected in depth but also get inspired by each other’s story. This also serves as the moment for you to share your personal story and get audience to step inside your maze of wonders.

3. Pick your top 5

Another easy-going, simple game to boost excitement and creativity of everyone in the room! As the host, you can split audience into pairs or trios, give out a certain topic then ask teams to write top 5 on the topic and submit their answers as fast as possible to a Word Cloud or Open-Ended question panel on AhaSlides.

The topic of the game does not need to be about the topic of the presentation. It can be about anything that is silly but provokes a light-hearted debate and gets everyone on fire.

Some suggested topics are:

  • 5 ways to name a group of animal (Eg: a cupboard of pandas, etc)
  • 5 characters in Riverdale film
  • 5 ways to use a pen
  • and a lot more!

4. Live polls, live thoughts

If you are worried that the above 3 games have too much to do with “typing”, then an icebreaker with few clicks and live polls will capture everyone’s attention. The questions can range from funny and silly, or industry-related, debate-prompting, to networking ones.

Another idea is to start with easy-going, basic questions and move on to trickier ones. In this way, audience are led in your direction and thereafter you can build up your presentation based on the questions.

Don’t forget to organise the game on an online platform like AhaSlides so that the responses are displayed live on the screen, and see how everyone is surprised by how many people think like them!

Some warm up questions from my presentation
Some warm up questions from my last week’s presentation

5. Two Truths and A Lie

This is a classic icebreaker game with a very simple rule. You have to share 3 facts, only 2 of which are true, and the audience have to guess which one is the lie. The statements can be either about you or the audience, however in case attendees have never met each other before, you’d better give out prompts about yourself.

Collect as many sets of statements as possible, then create an online multiple choice poll for each one. On D-Day, present them and let everyone vote on the lie. Tip: Remember to hide the correct answer till the end!

You can get ideas for this game here.

6. Flying challenges

Icebreakers mostly center around you – the presenter – handing out questions and requests to the audience, so why not flip it up and let them take turn to challenge each other? This game also enhances a more “physical” interaction among people, and it is a wonderful trick to rock the whole room and ease the awkwardness among participants.

Give out paper and pens to the audience and ask them to think of a challenge for others, before crumpling it into balls. Then, count down from 3 and throw them into the air! Ask people to grab the one nearest them and invite some to read out the challenges.

As everyone loves winning, you cannot imagine how challenging this may be! The audience would even be more motivated if you put up a prize for the most exciting questions!

7. Super competitive Quiz Games

Nothing can beat Games in hyping people up. Knowing this, you can let your audience jump straight into a fun Quiz Game on AhaSlides at the very beginning of your presentation and see how energised and hyped up they become.

Best thing: This does not limit only to entertaining or easy-going presentations, but also more “serious”, formal and scientific ones. With several topic-focused questions, attendees now get a clearer hindsight into what ideas you are about to bring them, while become more familiar with you – who they’d get to interact with the time being.

The preconception that a presentation must be painstakingly nerve-wracking is wiped out immediately, and only pure excitement and eagerness for more information is here now.

With these amazing icebreaking games, forget about the days when you started off with a mere introduction of your name and jump right into the presentation.

Now create a strong bonds between you and every audience in the room with AhaSlides!

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