The worst thing you can do to start a presentation is thank people. The meeting organizer. The exec who allowed your audience to attend. Jay, the audio-visual wiz, who set up the equipment….
Blah. Yawn. Game over. You’ve already lost your audience. What they hear in those all-important first few seconds is not you being polite — it’s you being boring. And your audience desperately wants you to be interesting and engaging.
So instead, start with a story. If the first words out of your mouth are, “So I’m standing in line the other day…” you’ll have everyone’s full attention.
(Want to thank your colleagues for helping to make your presentation happen? Nice idea. Send them an email afterward.)