Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Michelle Kaplan
"The New York Radio Girl"

presentations English how to start

Do you know how to catch the attention of your audience right from the beginning of your presentation in English?

Today we’ll show you how to do it and we’ll give you the phrases you need.


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In order to give a great presentation you need to start strong.

You don’t want your audience to “zone out” and get bored.

You want their attention on you.


Here are 3 tips on how to open strong:

  • Start by asking a question: You can say “I’d like to start today with a question (for you)” or “Let me ask you a question.” It can useful to use these openers to frame the question and to get the audience prepared and to make them curious about what you are going to ask. Or you could say “To start off, I’d like to take a poll.”


  • Start by telling a story or anecdote: You can just jump into the story or frame the story by saying, “Let me tell you a story about…” or “Here’s a quick story…” Pay attention to intonation when you deliver these phrases to build the anticipation. You can also say, “I’d like to open with a personal anecdote.”


  • Start by shocking them: Surprise your audience. Michelle tried this in a graduate school class by opening her presentation by using curse words and swearing in front of the class. People didn’t expect her to use these words so she had their full attention for the rest of the presentation.


Have you used these tactics to open a presentation or a speech in English?

Let us know in the comments below and ask us your questions!

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