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Introduction

 

Techniques Public speaking > Parts of the Presentation > Introduction

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The introduction in a speech or presentation comes before the main body of information. It seeks to prepare the listeners and gain their attention.

Take time to develop a powerful introduction that leads your audience to conclude you are worth listening to for the rest of your presentation.

Look for material and ideas that will give your introduction an extra punch and hook them in early. Be creative to attract attention and interest.

After you have completed the body of your speech, go back to the introduction and check that it aligns with the detail of the body. 

Example

I looked in the mirror this morning and wondered at the image of the stranger there. What am I? Are we all imaginary? Am I really standing here? The questions of reality and identity have never been more important as we stand at the edge of a new era. I hope that, in little under an hour, you will see yourself in a different light as we explore the latest findings in neurological research.

Discussion

As an introduction it is a trailer not just to what you are going to say but also how interesting a presenter you are. It is the time when you may gain or lose attention. It is where you can hook their interest.

Underlying this is the need to create some form of cognitive or emotional tension, where the person perceives a gap between what they know and what they need to know, and also see you as a person who can fill that gap and so relieve the tension.

The introduction is also important as it will later be remembered more than much of the body of the presentation, due to what is known as the primacy effect.

See also

Attention principle, Tension principle

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