More about creating the most effective introduction to start your professional presentation off right!
The musical Pippin opens with a very cool number called "Magic to Do". (Dig back into your past- chances are you sang it in some high school choir concert or in your music class...) The song tells the audience exactly what they can expect from the next 2.5 hours of show. It's a great introduction into the proceedings, and a good example of the part of your introduction that we refer to as Knowledge, Attitude, Action (or K, A, A, for short).
After you've grabbed their attention and told them a bit about who you are, you want to start to lay out the day for your audience. The K, A, A section of your Introduction not only presents the general topic at hand (KNOWLEDGE) but how you want them to feel about that topic (ATTITUDE), and what you want them to do with your information (ACTION). In doing so, you're managing their expectations as well as planting the seeds of how you want your content to be received. You're setting up their attitude for them, and making it easier for them to take action on it afterwards.
Let's use our song from Pippin as an example. (Because, why not??) The players let us know that, over the course of their presentation, they've got some magic to do that will involve playing parts, warming hearts, and taking kings and things by storm. (And it all rhymes!) Great. We, as an audience, know a bit of the KNOWLEDGE we're going to gain.
How do they want us to feel about it? Well, clearly, they are doing all of this for us (they tell us many times!), they want us to be intrigued and amused and engaged by what we're about to see. They want to dazzle us. There is the ATTITUDE they would like us to take.
And what's the ACTION? Well, they tell us repeatedly- they want us to join them. "Join us! Leave your fields to flower!" So we can put the K,A,A together this way- They are going to do some magic, it's going to dazzle us, and do so to the point that we will get out of our seat and join them. We know what their goal is, and they've planted the seeds for the hours ahead.
So, how can you do this in your presentation without grand theatrics or song and dance? Very simple. Let's say you're giving a presentation about a new financial product. After your attention grabber, and a good you/credibility statement, you might try something like this:
Today, I'm going to introduce you to the ins and outs of our new payment product. At the end of our time together, I want you to be energized and reassured about these new options that are available to you. In fact, I want you to feel so good about it that you make this the go-to payment option for your company.
Simple as that. A few well-crafted K,A,A sentences set you up for success over the course of your presentation, give your day an overall framework, and provide direction to your audience as to your ultimate goal.
Quick recap! The first steps to crafting your most effective Introduction ever? Here they are:
1. A strong Attention Grabber
2. An informative You/Credibility section
3. Knowledge- a brief overview of your content
4. Attitude- how you want your audience to feel about your content
5. Action- what you want them to ultimately DO with that content.
In our next installment of Creating Introductions, we'll break down the next step in your Introduction-Key Points.
BTW, want to see the most recent smash-hit production of Pippin? Find more information here!