Most presenters, even if they are not new to their audience do introduce themselves at the start of their meeting or presentation. I suppose it seems like good manners doesn’t it? In fact, it’s not best practice to start with your name, even though yes, it is good manners.
Don’t make the mistake most presenters make and start with, ‘Good morning, my name is Flossy Bloggs from (department) and thanks for your time today.’
There are a number of reasons why this opening isn’t great.
Firstly, it’s very unmemorable and boring. People are moving from one meeting to another. They are either live with you in the room or they are connecting virtually on zoom and they are fatigued from all their meetings one after another. If you stand out with a catchy intro duction rather than the stock-standard boring one, you’ll have a much better chance of having them engage throughout your whole presentation.
Secondly, it’s rare that an audience will attend a presentation where they don’t know who is presenting or where they are from, so you don’t need to remind them at the very start. The sad fact is they probably don’t care anyway – at least not until they know what it is you have to say that is going to help them in some way. What’s in it for them? Then once you’ve established what they will get out of your presentation you’re very welcome to tell them who you are!
What should you do instead?
Make your opening statement count. Use a relevant thought-provoking icebreaker (fact, story, statistic, riddle), ask them a question or reflect something about them so it shows you know where they are coming from. Do something memorable (the law of primacy and regency says audiences remember the first and last things you say. Hook their attention so that want to pay close attention to what you have to say next. Do this and you’ll stand out for all the right reasons!
© Michelle Bowden 2020. Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), co-creator of the PRSI (a world-first psychometric indicator that tests your persuasiveness at work), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media. www.michellebowden.com.au