Here’s a great tip for anybody presenting anything to an audience:
Skip the boring preamble. Many times we feel like we have to do a lot of prefacing, but four minutes goes by quickly. If you spend two minutes on background, you’ve lost an opportunity to grab attention. Far better to leave the identifying bits until the second paragraph, or to the overhead PowerPoint image, or to the person charged with giving the introductions.
Start in the middle. Start at the most interesting point. Choose powerful first words, with immediate interest. Grab your audience quickly. The worst ways to start a presentation (or any story) is “My name is ___ and I’d like to talk to you about…”
That’s from JD Schramm, Stanford business school communications lecturer, in How to Tell Your Story for Impact. The session is also posted on YouTube, Make sure you get to about 27 minutes in, where he starts talking about 7 habits of concise storytelling. That portion, the 7 habits, takes less than 20 minutes.
Yes, there are seven. I put one into this post but I recommend you go through all seven.