Skip the bio

March 30, 2020

If you’re looking to make a real impression in your next presentation, skip the bio. Instead, use those crucial first 5 minutes to capture your audience’s attention and really get them interested in your content. 

Introducing yourself might seem like the obvious way to start your presentation. However, it’s actually one of the least effective ways to grab the attention of your audience and get them engaged in your talk. 

As a presenter, the first 5 minutes of your presentation are the most crucial to capturing your audience’s attention. So why waste them on a boring introduction to yourself or your company?

Believe it or not, your audience probably isn’t interested in hearing about you. Sure, they’ll be keen to know what you’ve got to say for yourself, and what you’ve got to offer them. But finding out where you were born and the name of your childhood hamster isn’t going to top of your busy listeners’ priorities.

Instead, seize the opportunity to engage your audience while their interest is piqued. Tell them why they should be listening to you. 

Intrigue your audience

The absolute best way to start a presentation is with something your audience isn’t expecting. Why? Because psychologically humans are more likely to pay attention to something when it surprises us. It’s a basic survival instinct. 

So start your presentation with a slide or a speech no one expects. Open with a bold statement, a story, a thought-provoking question, perhaps - anything that will force your audience to look up and think. 

Saying “I’m Susan and today I’m here to talk to you about…” isn’t going to be shocking anyone. Saying “You will live seven and a half minutes longer than you would have otherwise, just because you watched this talk”, on the other hand, will certainly prick up the ears in the room. That is what game designer Jane McGonigal said in her incredibly popular TED talk a few years ago. Her implausible statement was met with scepticism, interest and disbelief. But everyone was listening. 

When your audience asks themselves “What’s gonna happen next?”, you've got them in the palm of your hand.

The magic 5 minutes

Those magic 5 minutes at the start of your presentation are when your audience is most alert and engaged, so skip the unimaginative introduction. 

What you say instead is completely dependent on the type of presentation you are giving and the outcome you are hoping to achieve. However, by removing the expected introduction to your talk, you will immediately engage your listeners as they wonder what on earth is going to happen next. Breaking the status quo is a sure-fire way to ensure your presentation gets the attention you desire. 

Surprise them. Impress them. Skip the bio.

If you need help putting together that killer presentation, get in touch with us today. From expertly designed slides, to damn-clever PowerPoint development, no one does presentations like we do.

Let’s Work Together

London

2nd floor, One Alfred Place,
London
WC1E 7EB

York

4 Innovation Close,
York Science Park,
York, YO10 5ZF

Manchester

1 Spinningfields,
Quay St, Manchester
M3 3JE