Solo Episodes

The Shocking Truth About How to Open and Close Your Presentations - 065

Mar 14, 2019

You’ve probably heard me say before, that people’s attention is one of the hardest things to get, and one of the most precious commodities of today.

As a public speaker people might say you have an advantage because you’ve got a captive audience for your presentation, but I don’t think that is true. With mobile phones and social media, with some of your audience potentially having been forced to attend, and with our decreasing spans of attention it’s still a massive challenge.

That’s why how you open your presentation is crucial because that will be what your audience uses to judge whether they will get more value out of listening to you then catching up on emails or sharing photos of the conference catering on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. How you finish your presentation is equally important because, as you are probably aware, people are more likely to remember the start and end most easily… so this is your last big opportunity to influence the message they leave with.

In this episode I’m sharing tips for starting and ending your presentation, and giving you examples to show you how it’s done and to spark ideas.


What this episode covers:

  • Why you shouldn’t squander your open and close on information giving.
  • What a lightning bolt open and close is and why you need them.
  • What your lightning bolt should do and take account of.
  • What you should do before the end lightning bolt of your talk.
  • Why you don’t just have to rely on words to get attention.
  • Why you should use humour in your open and close.
  • Why the last words of your talk are vital to the success of your presentation.
  • Examples of opening and closes from Sarah’s talks.
  • Good examples of open and closing from TED and TEDx talks.

Thanks for listening!


Larry Smith TED Talk – Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

Tom Thum TEDx Talk – Beatbox Brilliance

Cameron Russell TED Talk – Looks Aren’t Everything Believe Me I’m a Model

Ken Robinson TED Talk – Do Schools Kill Creativity?

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