Present With a Smooth Takeoff and a Clean Landing
Ask a pilot, “Are there specific times during a flight when you must pay special attention and stay carefully focussed?” The answer is always: takeoff and landing. The same is true with a speech, presentation, or virtually ANY communication. You must place careful emphasis on your beginning and ending – the takeoff and landing. Most of us feel our greatest pressure or nervousness at the opening and the closing of a presentation. At the same time, the audience is dramatically affected by how we begin and how we end.
You must start with a strong opening – a grabber. Your opening is like the
headline of a newspaper which says, “Stop and read this article.” Your
opening must tell us to stop what we are doing and thinking and start
listening to you. The opening “sets the stage,” and creates momentum. If
you don’t have a strong opening, you will be in a “hard to get out of” deficit.
And you must have a strong close. You must end on a high note… end with a bang, not a whimper. What’s the last thing you want them to hear? Figure that out, plan it, and deliver it with energy and enthusiasm.
Work hard on your opening and closing. When you do them well, you will gain our attention, keep it, and be ready to follow where you lead!