Ace the Presentation

Quotes to Start Your Presentation

55 Powerful and Inspiring Quotes to Start Your Presentation

Have you ever stopped to think about the best strategies to start a presentation and gain the audience’s attention or interlocutor? Did you know that using motivational phrases to create a presentation is a great alternative?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student and you’re presenting a paper, or if you’re a renowned speaker. Knowing how to speak well in public implies several factors, and at any moment of your speech is a crucial moment to ensure that the presentation is successful.

According to businessman and filmmaker Peter Davies,

“Motivation is like food for the brain; you can’t have enough at a meal. Motivation needs continuous and regular recharges to nurture deep and transform a human being into a winner.”

Among the techniques you can and should use, the citation should undoubtedly be among the main in your list.

A relevant quote, which is aligned with the theme of its presentation, tied to the purpose and objective, creates a strong connection with the audience, often arousing interest and attention.

An unforgettable introduction is the first step in starting a presentation or speech. Often, we are focused only on the content presented, completely forgetting that, for the public to pay attention, it is necessary to arrest them from the beginning.

5 Best Techniques to start a Presentation or Speech

  • Quote someone else

Opening your presentation with a relevant quote can help set the whole tone for the rest of your speech. However, when making the quote, you need to remember two essential things: a) Quote the source of the sentence and b) “Tie it” to the central theme of the presentation.

However, an important point to consider when speaking in public: Citations will depend on the style of the audience, and the moment the presenter lives. Do not push too hard or adopt a tone of voice or language that does not suit the public.

  • Don’t be afraid to use humor.

A touch of humor is a great way to break the ice with the audience, relieve tension and connect with everyone. As the example given above quote, the key to success is making the joke related to the topic being discussed.

If this tip is not your style, you can address the other information in this article.

During the presentation, telling a story is another very clever way to start a speech.  After all, stories compellingly connect people.

But, as in the case of jokes, your story needs to bridge or contain a message that can link the introduction to the presentation

‘s content.

An excellent way to use storytelling is by using an “imaginary” scenario, but that is your life story; this will leave the participants interested and can identify better with you.

  • Be bold and use a striking phrase.

This technique consists of giving a brief thought-provoking statement, which will set the tone of the presentation theme, especially if this is said with a strong voice, which draws attention and leaves the group ready to hear what’s next.

Therefore, when you start the speech, you can speak a bold and striking phrase and use the silence technique later, increasing the effect of the phrase.

In this sense, an example of an excellent way to catch the public’s attention is to say the sentence and pause, up to 10 seconds. 

This plan will make the audience anxious and attentive.

  • Cite notable statistics

Using surprising statistics will show the public an immediate value in their knowledge, leaving them more interested throughout their presentation. 

It also helps stimulate the audience’s thoughts; this technique works very well when the facts reported are not common knowledge but are nevertheless relevant and stimulating.

Please make sure to be brief in the opening statement, so your opening won’t get too many easy-to-forget details.

1. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” Coco Chanel

We are often afraid to start a project no matter how much we have ideas that are outside the box, and when compared to other people, we thought that this would not be successful. 

This phrase from Coco Chanel helps us understand that to be successful, and we need to subject ourselves to error sometimes.

2.  “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

We have here a phrase from one of the strong women of history known as the defender of human rights unless we identify ourselves with what people think of us; none has power over what we are and want to be.

3. “Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” Oprah Winfrey

With the illustrious phrase of another inspiring woman Oprah Winfrey, it became clear how error always has a positive side; getting it right is not always what we need from error comes the improvement of an idea that can continuously be improved.

4. “The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” Henry Ford

If we discover what makes us happy, we can always succeed because happiness is the path of inspiration that leads us to unimaginable ways.

5. “A belief is only a thought you keep thinking.” Abraham Hicks

Beliefs are socialized since we were born, depending on the socio-cultural context and the people around us. Anything is possible if you think so.

6. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou

Often we can criticize something or behavior when we think we can do better; Angelou encourages us to get up and do it. If we still can’t change, maybe we have to change our attitude towards the situation that bothers us.

7. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill

Sometimes we think that success comes from great attitudes, and from thinking so much about an idea that surpasses all the others, we stand by and do nothing. Napoleon Hill encourages us to start step-by-step and what matters here is how we make it small or big.

8. Innovation, as I understand it, is both about doing different things as well as doing things differently.” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone, and for that, we need not only to experience things we’ve never done before, but the way can also lead us to new paths.

9. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” Steve Jobs

When we choose the course we want to take in college, we often choose a course that our parents choose, and that doesn’t make us happy, which we shouldn’t do because we are supposed to live for ourselves and our happiness.

10. “Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.” Margaret Mead

Every human being is unique in its way, and our particular way of being cannot be compared to any other. Hence we need not be afraid when we do something new, even if someone else has already done it.

55 Powerful and Inspiring Quotes to Start Your Presentation

Have you ever stopped to think about the best strategies to start a presentation and gain the audience’s attention or interlocutor? Did you know that using motivational phrases to create a presentation is a great alternative? It doesn’t matter if you’re a student and you’re presenting a paper, or if you’re a renowned speaker. Knowing…

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This post is part 3 of a series of posts that where we will be sharing with you quick tips on how to deliver all types of speech that we mentioned in our most-read post on this blog, 10 Types of Speeches. Instead of just telling you that there is a motivational speech or an…

26 Motivational and Inspirational Quotes on Life, Success, and Positive Thinking to Make Your Day

26 Motivational and Inspirational Quotes on Life, Success, and Positive Thinking to Make Your Day

If you came here looking for short, but powerful motivational and inspirational quotes that will lift you up when you are feeling discouraged, or share a pearl of wisdom and help you achieve success in your endeavors, then you have come to the right place. Motivational and Inspirational Quotes have a great effect on us….

11. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

This means that sometimes we will have bad days and things will be difficult, but this does not mean that we will not have good days, so we must always be kind and cheerful.

12. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s much easier to follow the path that many people have taken may seem safer. Yet, here Emerson suggests that choosing a direction is knowledge, adventure, or whatever it is we decided to learn new things and share with other people that would be the trail.

13. “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” Edmund Hillary

People aren’t born brilliant. They make decisions and make choices that push outside the box and are exceptional.

14. “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” William Faulkner

Faulkner encourages us to be our competence, neither that of descendants or ascenders nor anyone but ourselves. Hold your hand and go hard.

15. “Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it ‘to whom it may concern.” Ken Haemer

You have got to prepare yourself for whichever situations or people you’re going to come across in different environments and conditions so that you don’t do things that don’t make sense.

16. Some people feel the rain. Others get wet.” Bob Marley

We can interpret this Bob Marley phrase as when faced with a chaotic situation, some people will despair, and others will calm down, focus, and look at the problem as an opportunity. Who the hell are you?

17. “When I’m old and dying. I plan to look back on my life and say ‘Wow, an adventure’ not, ‘Wow, I sure felt safe.’” Tom Preston Werner

Werner means to live your life without fears and live your life intensely because you never know how it will be tomorrow.

18. Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take place wherever you are and be someone; get action.” Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt encourages us to get better lives by doing something, turning into reality our dreams by consistently taking action.

19. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

It’s for no one but ourselves that we need to improve or reinvent ourselves.

20. You have to go wholeheartedly into anything to achieve anything worth having.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright tells us that following our heart is the best way to reach out to more incredible things in life; anything we put, our real feelings and natural energy will glow.

21. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela

With this simple phrase, Mandela brings us a crucial message to live an extraordinary life; when we start by somewhere and are not there yet, it seems unreachable but never is if we don’t give up trying.

22. “There are only two days of the year when you can do nothing: one is called yesterday and the other tomorrow” Dalai Lama

Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today; live each day as if it were your last.

23. “In the end, everything works out, and if it didn’t work, it’s because it hasn’t come to an end” Fernando Sabino

What Sabino means is you have to be patient because someday, our time to shine will come.

24. “The pessimist sees difficulty at every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity at every difficulty” Winston Churchill

When we sync our minds to positive thinking, anything we face is reachable, and we get things done because everything turns into an opportunity to learn and grow.

26. “You have to be a protagonist. You can’t just listen to the band play, and you have to be part of the band” Sonia Hess

In life, we face many situations that we work and live with people, but we don’t need to be ordinary because we are not; we have to show and give our best in anything we do.

27. Our failures are sometimes more fruitful than our successes” Henry Ford

With mistakes, we learn, we improve, and one day we reach perfection.

28. “Change your mind and change your world” Norman Vincent Peale

If we have an open mind, we will find that our way of thinking is not always the right one, and when we change our review, we will be able to put it into practice in our lives.

29. “One day you must stop dreaming, take the plans out of the drawer and somehow start” Amyr Klink

Klink encourages us to materialize any ideas or dreams we may have and not spend days only daydreaming about them.

30. “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change, simply by changing his attitude” Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes the attitude we face in certain realities is the ones that prevent us from enjoying more extraordinary things in life. So you may want to think about some philosophy or way of thinking that you could use a change.

31. “Keep in mind that your desire to achieve success is more important than anything” Abraham Lincoln

What Lincoln means is that we must work hard to achieve our goals and put them as priorities in life if we want to achieve them.

32. “Be content to act. Leave the speech to others” Baltasar Gracián

This means to live your life no matter what other people think; if you are happy with it, be gentle with yourself.

33. “To achieve success, you need to accept all the challenges that lie ahead of you. You can’t just accept the ones you prefer” Mike Gafka

Gafka means that Challenges turn us better if we submit to the lesson they have to teach us.

34. “A successful warrior is an average man, but with a sharp focus like a laser beam” Bruce Lee

Lee means that even though a warrior is seen with prestige, he is a regular man. Still, the difference between them and what he is, is how he put attention to what he wants, and we can compare that analogy with daily situations such us when we see some people more successful than others.

35. “Logic can lead from point A to point B. Imagination can lead anywhere” Albert Einstein

Things go far beyond what they seem to be, don’t focus on the obvious, and also see subtexts.

36. “The task is not so much to see what no one has seen, but to think what no one has thought about what everyone sees.” Arthur Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer gives us a lesson about creativity; most of the time, we look for new ideas that no one ever thought about; however, imagination can recreate helpfully something that already exists.

37. “It is much better to set out in search of great conquests, even exposing oneself to failure, than to align oneself with the poor in spirit, who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey gloom, where they know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

Living adventurously and risky is much more satisfying and rewarding than having a monotonous and safe life.

38. “What we predict rarely occurs; what we least expect usually happens.” Benjamin Disraeli

This means always to expect the unexpected.

39. “Unless we change our way of thinking, we will not be able to solve the problems caused by the way we get used to seeing the world.” Albert Einstein

Einstein encourages us to see situations more dynamically because we socialized in a certain way with ease; our thoughts can become a cycle of ignorance.

40. “Persistence is the least path to success.” Charles Chaplin

Chaplin means that we insist and don’t give up on what we want to do. Indeed, we are going to make it no matter how much time it takes.

7 Steps for Writing an Inspiring Graduation Speech 

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3 KEY Things For Delivering a Successful Speech

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41. “To discover consists in looking at what everyone is seeing and thinking something different.” Roger von Oech

This means that we have to think like no one ever thought or even imagined to discover something.

42. “Sometimes we feel that what we do is only a drop of water in the sea. But the sea would be smaller if it lacked a drop”. Mother Teresa de Calcuta

We all make a difference in this world; every soul counts, and every opinion counts either. Please don’t give up on sharing what you got because it is critical.

43. “The more our knowledge increases, the more evident is our ignorance.” John F. Kennedy

The more things you learn, the more things you need to learn because no one can know anything about anything.

44. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the plane takes off against the wind, not in his favor.” Henry Ford

Remember that Henry Ford suggested the car model we use today back in his time, and nobody but him believed it was possible, he had nobody but himself to hold hands. Don’t give up.

45. “No matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.” Confucius

Do things in your time and never give up.

46. “An entrepreneur sees opportunities where others see only problems.” Michael Gerber

Someone who sees a chance to grow in any situation is a winner, and he has nothing to lose because, in any position of life, we can get something that could be what we didn’t expect.

47. Choose a job you like, and you won’t have to work a single day of your life.” Confucius

If you choose a job that you love, you don’t feel like you’re working; you’re doing a leisure activity.

48. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you do, you will succeed.” Albert Schweitzer

As Nga, a rapper, says, there is no way to happiness because happiness is when we vibrate good feelings, especially do things we love, life becomes more accessible.

49. “Don’t play games you don’t understand, even if you see many other people making money with them.” Tony Hsieh

Don’t do things through other people’s influence to make your life easier.

50. “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we do things without good energy, they can easily be ruined.

51. “The thoughts we choose to have are the tools we use to paint the picture of our lives.” Louise Hay

Your way of thinking will determine the course of our lives, which means always be open to new forms of thinking so you can live in a more inclusive World.

52. “Success is born of wanting, determination, and persistence in reaching a goal. Even not reaching the target, who seeks and overcomes obstacles, at least will do admirable things.” José de Alencar

What Alencar means is that when we want something, even if we don’t get what we were thinking at first, we always get something.

53. “To act, that is the true intelligence. I will be whatever I want. But I have to want whatever it is. Success lies in being successful, not in being able to succeed. Palace conditions have any wide land, but where will the palace be if they don’t do it there?” Fernando Pessoa

Pessoa says that when we want something, conditions don’t determine if we thrive or not, but our vibration towards it and that will makes us anything we desire.

54. “You can get anything you want in life if you help other people get what they want.”  Zig Ziglar

If you are kind to other people, they will give back in the future.

55. I like the impossible because there is less competition.” Walt Disney

Walt means that the unthinkable doesn’t exist; most people can’t perseverance, so he does because few people can.

How you open your presentation determines how interested the public will be in what will be said afterward. So, when thinking about how to start a speech or presentation, evaluate if your introduction is completely bland; this will be the initial message that the audience will get from the speaker and the display itself.

Reference and Further Reading

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 11 Best Body Language Tips for Engaging Presentations.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 120 Persuasive Speech Topics.

Ace The Presentation. Amadebai, E. 8 Awesome Persuasive Speech Techniques.

Ezine Articles. Toney, B (2011). Key Elements of a Persuasive Speech.

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Resources | Storytelling | Strategy

50 powerful quotes to start your presentation.

presentation starting quote

Written by Kai Xin Koh

presentation starting quote

When was the last time you attended a conference where the speaker didn’t just say: “Oh hi, my name is XYZ and today, I’ll be speaking to you about Topic X”?

Great stories possess riveting narrative arcs that begin strong and end strong. We’ve written at length about some of the best ways to end your presentation , but how does one design a presentation to start without sounding too cliche?

One of the most powerful ways to begin a presentation is to start by sharing a powerful and memorable quote that relates to the message of your talk.

Powerful quotes have so much power on your presentation. Not only does it help reinforce your message, it also helps boost your credibility since it implied the quote is ‘agreeing’ with your statement.

Take this TED talk by Andrew Solomon for example. Notice how he skilfully uses a quote from a book by Emily Dickinson to set the stage for his numerous anecdotes regarding the topic on Depression in his presentation:

Hence, if you’re looking to follow suit and start your next presentation strong with a powerful quote, we’ve got you covered. Here, we compiled a list of 50 quotes that you can use to boost your next presentation.

50 Powerful Quotes To Start Your Presentation:

1)   “ The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” –  Mark Twain

2) “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” –  Babe Ruth

3) “ If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” –  Albert Einstein

4) “ If you’re too comfortable, it’s time to move on. Terrified of what’s next? You’re on the right track.” –  Susan Fales Hill

5) “ Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” –  Bill Gates

6) “ You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” –  Steve Jobs

7) “ Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” –  Jack Dorsey

8) “ Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” –  Oprah Winfrey

9) “ Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” –  Jay Danzie

10)  “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” –  Warren Buffett

11)  “Some entrepreneurs think how can I make a lot of money? But a better way is to think how can I make people’s lives a lot better? If you get it right, the money will come.” –  Richard Branson

12)  “When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse? ’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.” –  Elon Musk

13)  “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” –  Ray Goforth

14)   “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” –  Charles F. Kettering

15)  “People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want.”   – Seth Godin

16)  “Please think about your legacy, because you’re writing it every day.”   – Gary Vaynerchuck

17)  “The golden rule for every business man is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place.” –  Orison Swett Marden

18)  “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”   –  David Brinkley

19)  “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.”   –  Einstein

20)  “The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”   –  Lilly Tomlin

21)  “ When you run a part of the relay and pass on the baton, there is no sense of unfinished business in your mind. There is just the sense of having done your part to the best of your ability. That is it. The hope is to pass on the baton to somebody who will run faster and run a better marathon.”   – N. R. Narayana Murthy

22)  “Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.” – Tony Hsieh

23)  “When you find an idea that you can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.”   – Josh James

24)  “What would you do if you’re not afraid?” –  Sheryl Sandberg

25)  “Don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once.”   – Drew Houston

26)  “When I’m old and dying. I plan to look back on my life and say ‘Wow, an adventure’ not, ‘Wow, I sure felt safe’” – Tom Preston Werner

27)  “80% of your sales comes from 20% of your clients.”   – Vilfredo Pareto

28)  “You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done.”   – Russell Simmons

29)  “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.”   – Pete Cashmore

30)  “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”   – Wayne Gretzy

31)  “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”   – George Lucas

32)  “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”   – Zig Ziglar

33)  “Words may inspire but action creates change.”   – Simon Sinek

34)  “It isn’t what we say or think that denies us, but what we do.”   – Jane Austen

35)  “Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be someone; get action.”   – Theodore Roosevelt

36)  “There is only one boss. The customer.” – Sam Walton

37)  “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

38)  “You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having.” –  Frank Lloyd Wright

39)  “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

40)  “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Bob Marley

41)  “There is no great genius without some touch of madness.”    – Seneca

42)  “If you think you are too small to make an impact try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” – Ekaterina Walter

43)   “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg

44)   “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” –  Thomas Edison

45)  “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”  – Abraham Lincoln

46)  “Don’t build links. Build relationships.”   – Rand Fishkin

47)   “100 percent of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in.”   –  Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Legend

48)  “If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.” – Kevin Systrom, Founder of Instagram

49)   “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”   –  Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE

50)    “You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn’t going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You’re going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people. They’re not going to buy it unless they know about it.”  –   Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines.

There you have it!

Phew! – now you have an additional 50 powerful quotes that you can add in your presentation arsenal. Leave an unforgettable impression on your presentation with these quotes starting today!

Comment down your favourite quote. And let us know if you have any that we didn’t add to the list!

Article Written By: Kai Xin Koh

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  • Presentation Hacks

21 Brilliant Presentation Quotes To Start Your Speech

  • By: Leslie Belknap

We all know the saying, you only get one chance to make a first impression . This quote continues to be repeated, even though it is borderline cliché, because first impressions can make or break relationships.  This is true even if a first impression is a presentation.

If you are at a loss for how to make a lasting, positive impression during the first few seconds of your next presentation, consider telling a story, sharing a joke, or even leading with a powerful quote that relates to the message of your talk.   If you want to begin with a quote, you are in luck, because below are 21 brilliant presentation quotes that are sure to start your speech off on the right foot.

1.  The common question that gets asked in business is, ‘why?’ That’s a good question, but an equally valid question is, ‘why not?’.  – Jeff Bezos

2.   There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world. – Phil Libin

3.  A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.   – Henry Ford

4.  If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.  – Reid Hoffman

5.  If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.  – Mario Andretti

6.  A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.  – Max Lucado

7.  Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs

8.   The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. – Confucius

9.   The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.  – Warren Buffett

10.  Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.  – Rumi

11. You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream. – Michael Dell

12.  Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like. – Brian Chesky

13.  The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain

14.  The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.  – Bruce Lee

15.   Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.  – Albert Einstein

16.  If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it. – Elon Musk

17.  In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. – Deepak Chopra

18.  Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison

19.  Fall seven times and stand up eight.  – Japanese Proverb

20.  I was taught the way of progress is neither swift nor easy. – Marie Curie

21.  Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. – Napoleon Hill

Like these quotes? You might also enjoy:

Inspirational Quotes for Presentations from Aristotle

Our Favorite Presentation Quotes

Also check out  13 Inspiring Quotes about Design :

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50 quotes to enhance your presentations

  • Written by: Shay O’Donnell
  • Categories: Sales presentations , Visual communication
  • Comments: 6

presentation quotes

Whether you’re looking to inspire your audience, need a strong presentation starter, or want a concise soundbite to end your presentation with, using a quote in your presentation can be a great way to support your slides’ story and enhance your presentation’s flow. Presentation quotes give you – as the presenter – a moment to breathe, while the audience is reading the slide ( a reminder of why you shouldn’t be reading your quotes aloud is here ). They enable your audience to quickly and concisely understand your presentation’s key message, and give you an extra boost of credibility to boot.

The struggle comes when you have to find presentation quotes that fit your story, come from a reputable source, and have an attribution to get you through legal and compliance checks. But worry not: BrightCarbon have done the hard work for you!

We have compiled 50 presentation quotes and categorized them into 10 themes so that you can easily find a quote that resonates with your message, be it in a sales presentation, keynote speech, or training deck. All the quotes include references and attributions, so that you can sail through compliance and get on with creating a stunning presentation!

Pop this in your bookmarks tab (you’ll thank us later!), then dig in and find the perfect presentation quotes below:

Innovation quotes for presentations

  • “Innovation, as I understand it, is both about doing different things as well as doing things differently.” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biotech Entrepreneur From an interview with Dr. Bhavana Weidman on nature.com (January 04, 2014)
  • “Innovation is more than having new ideas: it includes the process of successfully introducing them or making things happen in a new way. It turns ideas into useful, practicable and commercial products or services.” John Adair, Writer on Business Leadership. Effective Innovation (2009), Revised Edition ch. 11
  • “Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.” Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon From ‘The electricity metaphor for the web’s future’, presented at TED2003 (February 2003)
  • “Innovation is fostered by information gathered from new connections; from insights gained by journeys into other disciplines or places; from active, collegial networks and fluid, open boundaries. “Innovation arises from ongoing circles of exchange, where information is not just accumulated or stored, but created. Knowledge is generated anew from connections that weren’t there before.” Meg Wheatley, Author and Management Consultant Leadership and the New Science (2001)
  • “We are all looking for the magic formula. Well, here you go: Creativity + Iterative Development = Innovation.” James Dyson, Founder of Dyson ‘James Dyson on Innovation’,  Ingenia , Issue 24 (September 2005)

presentation starting quote

Design quotes for presentations

  • “Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition.” Freeman Thomas, Automobile and Industrial Designer Reviving Professional Learning Communities: Strength Through Diversity, Conflict, Teamwork, and Structure (2012) p. 63
  • “The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living. The assumption is that somewhere, hidden, is a better way of doing things.” Harry Bertoia, Artist and Designer As quoted in 1000 Chairs , Carlotte and Peter Fiell (2005) p. 66
  • “People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. As quoted in ‘The Guts of a New Machine’, Rob Walker, The New York Times Magazine (November 30, 2003)
  • “Design is redesign.” Jan Michl, Professor Emeritus, Phdr. History and Theories of Design ‘On seeing design as redesign’,  Scandinavian Journal of Design History , Issue 12 (2002) p. 7-23
  • “Design is not about products, design is about relationships.” Hella Jongerius, Industrial Designer ‘Beyond the New: a search for ideals in design’, a manifesto by Hella Jongerius and Louise Schouwenberg (2015) 

presentation starting quote

Education and learning quotes for presentations

  • “We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.” Margaret Mead, Anthropologist and Author As quoted in How They Work In Indiana : Business-Education Partnerships , Andrew L. Zehner (1994)
  • “The most important thing any teacher has to learn, not to be learned in any school of education I ever heard of, can be expressed in seven words: Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.” John Holt, Author and Educator Growing Without Schooling , Issue   40 (1984)
  • “True education means fostering the ability to be interested in something.” Sumio Iijima, Physicist ‘About myself, To the younger generation’,  Innovative Engine  (September 25, 2007)
  • “If you think education is expensive — try ignorance.” ‘Ask Ann Landers’ Syndicated Advice Column (October 4, 1975)
  • “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” Plutarch, Greek Historian, Biographer, and Essayist On Listening to Lectures

presentation starting quote

Success quotes for presentations

  • “Success is fucking up on your own terms.” Guillermo del Toro, Director and Producer From Portland Mercury Q&A (September 29, 2010)
  • “We cannot say what brings us success. We can only pin down what blocks or obliterates success. Eliminate the downside, the thinking errors, and the upside will take care of itself. This is all we need to know.” Rolf Dobelli, Author and Businessman The Art of Thinking Clearly (2013)
  • “The secret to success is the willingness to serve without aspiring for rewards.” Cham Joof, Gambian Historian Gambia, Land of our heritage,  p IV
  • “Failure and success are not episodes, they are trajectories. They are tendencies, directions, pathways. Each decision, each time at bat, each tennis serve, each business quarter, each school year seems like a new event, but the next performance is shaped by what happened last time out, unless something breaks the streak. The meaning of any particular event is shaped by what’s come before.” Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Author and Management Consultant Confidence (2006)
  • “Success is more than a good idea. It is timing.” Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop From an interview on bookbrowse.com

presentation starting quote

Creativity quotes for presentations

  • “Relaxed, playful and harmonious moments are the birth place of creativity.” Amit Ray, Author and Spiritual Master Meditation: Insights and Inspiration (2010) p. 58
  • “Originality is going back to the origin and finding an empty chair. Would you gladly sit on it? No thank you. It is empty for a reason. That’s where my ass was. Not where my head is now.” Giannina Braschi, Puerto Rican Poet, Novelist, and Essayist World Literature Today (2012)
  • “Creativity isn’t about the advantage or disadvantage of a specific time or culture. Creativity is something that comes internally from a human being having a genuine mistrust of rules. And that may be the constant. It’s almost like there’s some rebellion in it.” Paula Scher, Graphic Designer From an interview conducted by Neal Shaffer (2006)
  • “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple of them and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck, Author Conversations with John Steinbeck , ed. Thomas Fensch (1988)
  • “Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.” Rollo May, Psychologist and Author The Courage to Create (1975) p. 115

presentation starting quote

Teamwork and collaboration quotes for presentations

  • “In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.” Margaret Wheatley, Management Consultant As quoted in 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself , Steve Chandler (2004) p. 123
  • “Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration.” Tim Gunn, Fashion Consultant and Author ‘Postings | Recent Entries From Our Blogs’, Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times (December 21, 2010)
  • “Collaboration is important not just because it’s a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem solving, innovation and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy.” Don Tapscott, Business Executive and Consultant ‘The spirit of collaboration is touching all of our lives’, The Globe and Mail (June 7, 2013)
  • “As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” Amy Poehler, Actress, Comedian, Director and Producer From The Joy of Success: What It Means to Transform Success Into Excellence,  Tochukwu O. Okafor MPA (2013) p. 53
  • “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Michael Jordan, Basketball Hall of Fame Player and Businessman As quoted in The Victory Letters : Inspiration for the Human Race , Cheri Ruskus (2003) p. 68.

presentation starting quote

Knowledge quotes for presentations

  • “While knowledge is increasingly being viewed as a commodity or intellectual asset, there are some paradoxical characteristics of knowledge that are radically different from other valuable commodities. These knowledge characteristics include the following: Using knowledge does not consume it. Transferring knowledge does not result in losing it. Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce. Much of an organization’s valuable knowledge walks out the door at the end of the day.” Kimiz Dalkir, Director at McGill School of Information Studies Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice, 2nd ed . (2011)
  • “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Carl Sagan, Astronomer and Popular Science Writer From That’s Weird!: Awesome Science Mysteries , Kendall F. Haven (2001)
  • “Investing in people is the single most important thing in the knowledge economy. Traditionally, wealth was defined by land and natural resources. Today the most important resources is between our ears.” Barack Obama Remarks by President Obama at Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (April 27, 2014)
  • “You can’t manage knowledge – nobody can. What you can do is to manage the environment in which knowledge can be created, discovered, captured, shared, distilled, validated, transferred, adopted, adapted and applied.” Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell Learning to Fly – Practical Knowledge Management from Leading and Learning Organizations (2005) p. 24-25
  • “The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information — in the sense of raw data — is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.” Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction Writer, Inventor, Futurist As quoted in ‘Humanity will survive information deluge — Sir Arthur C Clarke’, OneWorld South Asia (December 5, 2003)

presentation quotes

Leadership quotes for presentations

  • “Successful people become great leaders when they learn to shift the focus from themselves to others.” Marshall Goldsmith, Leadership Coach What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (2010) p. 72
  • “Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.” Martin Luther King, Jr. From an address at the Episcopal National Cathedral, Washington D.C. (March 31, 1968)
  • “You can’t lead from behind your desk, you’ve got to get out in front, be visible, for your customers as well as for your employees. During a crisis, you’ve got to be calm and confident. You’ve got to always tell the truth. And you’ve got to be willing to face a crisis, not shy away from it, embrace it.” Geisha Williams, Fortune 500 Businesswoman ‘Geisha Williams: Set Your Sights High, Take Charge and Keep the Lights On’, Leadership California , Carol Caley (February 17, 2014)
  • “Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually it implies some risk — especially in new undertakings. Courage to initiate something and to keep it going, pioneering and adventurous spirit to blaze new ways, often, in our land of opportunity.” Walt Disney As quoted in The Disney Way Fieldbook,  Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson (2000) p. 147
  • “Embrace what you don’t know. What you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everyone else.” Sarah Blakely, Founder of Spanx ’10 Lessons I Learned from Sara Blakely That You Won’t Hear in Business School,’ Forbes , Kathy Caprino (May 23, 2012)

presentation starting quote

Mistakes and failure quotes for presentations

  • “We tell our young managers: ‘Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice’” Akio Morita, Co-Founder of Sony Corporation As quoted in The Sony Vision , Nick Lyons (1976) p. 101
  • “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” Oprah Winfrey Commencement address at Harvard University (30 May 2013)
  • “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Suzy Kassem, Author Rise Up And Salute The Sun (2010)
  • “Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t bet against yourself. And take risk. NASA has this phrase that they like, “Failure is not an option.” But failure has to be an option. In art and exploration, failure has to be an option. Because it is a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks. … In whatever you are doing, failure is an option. But fear is not.” James Cameron, Film Director From ‘Before Avatar … a curious boy’, presented at TED2010 (February 13, 2010)
  • “I view this year’s failure as next year’s opportunity to try it again. Failures are not something to be avoided. You want to have them happen as quickly as you can so you can make progress rapidly.” Gordon Moore, Engineer and Co-Founder of Intel Corporation ‘An Interview with Gordon Moore’, Ingenuity 5 (2), Laura Schmitt (May 2000)

presentation quotes

Planning and strategy quotes for presentations

  • “Chance favours the prepared mind.” Louis Pasteur, Microbiologist, Chemist and Inventor Lecture, University of Lille (December 7, 1854)
  • “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. ” Michael Porter, Economist, Researcher, Author ‘What is strategy?’ Harvard Business Review  (November 1996) p. 70
  • “Business strategy is the battleplan for a better future.” Patrick Dixon, Author and Business Consultant Building a Better Business (2005)
  • “Managers who extensively plan the future get the timing wrong. Sometimes they arrive to market too early and so must wait for the demand to catch up. Sometimes they are too late and so must accelerate to rejoin the future.” Shona L. Brown and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt Competing on the Edge: Strategy as Structured Chaos (1998) p.135
  • “Strategy is about stretching limited resources to fit ambitious aspirations.” K. Prahalad, Organizational Theorist As quoted in The Wal-Mart Way , Don Soderquist (2005) p. 178

presentation quotes

We hope you found what you needed from our list of presentation quotes! If you’re about to paste that quote onto your deck, but want to know how to format it to perfection, check out our guide to advanced typography in PowerPoint .

Have an idea for a quote we should add to the list? Is there a key theme you want some presentation quotes for? Let us know in the comments below!

presentation starting quote

Shay O’Donnell

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Thanks for this post.It’s a helpful quotes for enhance slides.

Glad it was useful Amit! Thank you for your feedback.

it helped me a lot… thanks!

Amazing Quotes. Really Good. These quotes help me making my presentation perfect Thanks & Regard vinita

Thanks for this post

thanks for information

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Beautiful, Inspiring Presentations in 21st Century Higher Education

Home » 40 Inspiring Quotes for Your Academic Presentations!

Stay hungry, stay foolish

40 Inspiring Quotes for Your Academic Presentations!

In this post I share 40 inspiring quotes (and counting). Feel free to pluck them – to spark joy, to  inspire you and for your next academic presentation.

I quite like them. They are wonderful when you want to find the essence of what you’re doing or a situation you’re in. When use wisely, they would help enhance your presentations. I’ve included some of the following quotes in my book Elevate and new Udemy course, Elevate Your Research Presentations!

And I’ll update this post as I go along. Enjoy!

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi aka Rumi – #deep

1. When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

2. What you seek is seeking you. *So I let them come to me…

3. Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.

4. Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.

5. Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.

6. Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.


7. Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.–Martin Fraquhar Tupper

8. Performance is not about getting your act together, but about opening up to the energy of the audience.–Benjamin Zander We are visual creatures.

9. Visual things stay put, whereas sounds fade.–Steven Pinker

10. Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.– Albert Einstein

11. That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.–Steve Jobs.

12. The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.–Mozart

13. The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything. – Warren Buffett

14. I am among those who think that science has great beauty.–Marie Curie

15. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.– Lao Tzu

16. Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler–The Prophet Muhammad

17. Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.– Andre Gide

18. Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.– Paulo Coelho

19. The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.– Saint Augustine

20. The worldly comforts are not for me. I am like a traveler, who takes a rest under a tree in the shade and then goes on his way.~ Mohammed (PBUH)

21. Many were the Ways of Life that have passed away before you: travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth. (Surah Al-Imran, 137)

22. Some entrepreneurs think how can I make a lot of money? But a better way is to think how can I make people’s lives a lot better? If you get it right, the money will come.– Richard Branson

23. Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.–Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)

24. Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid. – Einstein

25. Always remember, your focus determines your reality.– George Lucas

26. The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.– Lilly Walters

27. The most precious things in speech are the pauses.– Sir Ralph Richardson

28. The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. – Mark Twain

29. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime.–Lao Tzu

30. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.–Sun Tze

31. Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.–Anon

32. Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.–Oscar Wilde

33. For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.–Thich Nhat Hanh

Maya Angelou – Her words are a source of great strength and kindness

34. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

35. If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.–Maya Angelou

36. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

37. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

38. Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.

39. My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.

40. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. *I really like this one!

41. Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.–Miles Kington

42. Knowledge wants to talk, wisdom wants to listen.–Haemin Sunim in ‘The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down’, p. 194.

Image by William Iven from Pixabay



19 Great Quotes to Inspire You to Better Presenting

presentation starting quote

Here’s a list of 19  interesting quotes about presenting and public speaking that can inspire you to become better at presenting.

As well as being motivational these quotes include bits of presenting wisdom that are essential to keep your listeners on the edge of their seats.

I hope you enjoy them!

1) “If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”     Warren Buffet

2) “If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” Gerald R. Ford

3) “Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” D. H. Lawrence

4)“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” Dianna Booher

5) “The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” Lilly Walters

6)  “If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.” Harvey Diamond

7) “Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.” Dionysius Of Halicarnassus

8 ) “It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” Mark Twain

9) “No one ever complains about a speech being too short!” Ira Hayes

10) “90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” Somers White

11) “It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.” Wayne Burgraff

12) “The most precious things in speech are the ……. pauses.” Sir Ralph Richardson

13) “Speakers who talk about what life has taught them never fail to keep the attention of their listeners.” Dale Carnegie

14) “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Carl W. Buechner

15) “ Well-timed silence has more eloquence than speech.” Martin Fraquhar Tupper

16) “Speeches measured by the hour die with the hour” Thomas Jefferson

17) “It’s much easier to be convincing if you care about your topic. Figure out what’s important to you about your message and speak from the heart” Nicholas Boothman

18) “Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.” Dale Carnegie

19) ” Be the presenter you would want to listen to” Cath Daley

If you take just a few of ideas from this list and put them into practice in your next presentation  then it will make it stand out and your audience will remember you.

I hope that these  inspire you to become  better at presenting. If you have a favourite quote about presenting or public speaking I’d love to hear it so please leave a comment below.

Until next time,

Kind regards,

If you enjoyed reading this post, be sure to fill out this form to receive blog post updates by e-mail, Presenting Tip of the Week and the 7 Part Winning Presentations  Course

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How To Start a Presentation: 15 Ways to Set the Stage

By Krystle Wong , Jul 25, 2023

How To Start A Presentation

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – it’s your opportunity to make a lasting impression and captivate your audience. 

A strong presentation start acts as a beacon, cutting through the noise and instantly capturing the attention of your listeners. With so much content vying for their focus, a captivating opening ensures that your message stands out and resonates with your audience.

Whether you’re a startup business owner pitching a brilliant idea, a seasoned presenter delivering a persuasive talk or an expert sharing your experience, the start of your presentation can make all the difference. But don’t fret — I’ve got you covered with 15 electrifying ways to kickstart your presentation. 

The presentation introduction examples in this article cover everything from self-introduction to how to start a group presentation, building anticipation that leaves the audience eager to delve into the depths of your topic.

Click to jump ahead:

How to start a presentation introduction

15 ways to start a presentation and captivate your audience, common mistakes to avoid in the opening of a presentation, faqs on how to start a presentation, captivate the audience from the get-go.

presentation starting quote

Presentations can be scary, I know. But even if stage fright hits, you can always fall back on a simple strategy.

Just take a deep breath, introduce yourself and briefly explain the topic of your presentation.

To grab attention at the start, try this opening line: Hello everyone. I am so glad you could join me today. I’m very excited about today’s topic. I’m [Your Name] and I’ll be talking about [Presentation Topic]. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by [Challenge related to your topic]. Many of us might have faced challenges with [Challenge related to your topic]. Today, we’ll explore some strategies that’ll help us [Solution that you’re presenting].

Regardless of your mode of presentation , crafting an engaging introduction sets the stage for a memorable presentation.

Let’s dive into some key tips for how to start a presentation speech to help you nail the art of starting with a bang:

Understand your audience

The key to an engaging introduction is to know your audience inside out and give your audience what they want. Tailor your opening to resonate with their specific interests, needs and expectations. Consider what will captivate them and how you can make your presentation relevant to their lives or work.

Use a compelling hook

Grab the audience’s attention from the get-go with a compelling hook. Whether it’s a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact or a gripping story, a powerful opening will immediately pique their curiosity and keep them invested in what you have to say.

presentation starting quote

State your purpose

Be crystal clear about your subject matter and the purpose of your presentation. In just a few sentences, communicate the main objectives and the value your audience will gain from listening to you. Let them know upfront what to expect and they’ll be more likely to stay engaged throughout.

Introduce yourself and your team

Give a self introduction about who you are such as your job title to establish credibility and rapport with the audience.

Some creative ways to introduce yourself in a presentation would be by sharing a brief and engaging personal story that connects to your topic or the theme of your presentation. This approach instantly makes you relatable and captures the audience’s attention.

Now, let’s talk about — how to introduce team members in a presentation. Before introducing each team member, briefly explain their role or contribution to the project or presentation. This gives the audience an understanding of their relevance and expertise.

Group presentations are also a breeze with the help of Venngage. Our in-editor collaboration tools allow you to edit presentations side by side in real-time. That way, you can seamlessly hare your design with the team for input and make sure everyone is on track. 

Maintain enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is contagious! Keep the energy levels up throughout your introduction, conveying a positive and upbeat tone. A vibrant and welcoming atmosphere sets the stage for an exciting presentation and keeps the audience eager to hear more.

Before you think about how to present a topic, think about how to design impactful slides that can leave a lasting impression on the audience. Here are 120+ presentation ideas , design tips, and examples to help you create an awesome slide deck for your next presentation.

Captivating your audience from the get-go is the key to a successful presentation. Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or a novice taking the stage for the first time, the opening of your presentation sets the tone for the entire talk. 

So, let’s get ready to dive into the 15 most creative ways to start a presentation. I promise you these presentation introduction ideas will captivate your audience, leaving them hanging on your every word.

Grab-attention immediately

Ask a thought-provoking question.

Get the audience’s wheels turning by throwing them a thought-provoking question right out of the gate. Make them ponder, wonder and engage their critical thinking muscles from the very start.

Share a surprising statistic or fact

Brace yourself for some wide eyes and dropped jaws! Open your presentation with a jaw-dropping statistic or a mind-blowing fact that’s directly related to your topic. Nothing captures attention like a good ol’ dose of shock and awe.

presentation starting quote

State a bold statement or challenge

Ready to shake things up? Kick off with a bold and daring statement that sets the stage for your presentation’s epic journey. Boldness has a way of making ears perk up and eyes widen in anticipation!

Engage with a poll or interactive activity

Turn the audience from passive listeners to active participants by kicking off with a fun poll or interactive activity. Get them on their feet, or rather — their fingertips, right from the start!

Venngage’s user-friendly drag-and-drop editor allows you to easily transform your slides into an interactive presentation . Create clickable buttons or navigation elements within your presentation to guide your audience to different sections or external resources. 

Enhance engagement by incorporating videos or audio clips directly into your presentation. Venngage supports video and audio embedding, which can add depth to your content.

presentation starting quote

Begin with an opening phrase that captures attention

Use opening phrases that can help you create a strong connection with your audience and make them eager to hear more about what you have to say. Remember to be confident, enthusiastic and authentic in your delivery to maximize the impact of your presentation.

Here are some effective presentation starting words and phrases that can help you grab your audience’s attention and set the stage for a captivating presentation:

  • “Imagine…”
  • “Picture this…”
  • “Did you know that…”
  • “Have you ever wondered…”
  • “In this presentation, we’ll explore…”
  • “Let’s dive right in and discover…”
  • “I’m excited to share with you…”
  • “I have a confession to make…”
  • “I want to start by telling you a story…”
  • “Before we begin, let’s consider…”
  • “Have you ever faced the challenge of…”
  • “We all know that…”
  • “This is a topic close to my heart because…”
  • “Over the next [minutes/hours], we’ll cover…”
  • “I invite you to journey with me through…”

Build connection and credibility

Begin with a personal connection .

Share a real-life experience or a special connection to the topic at hand. This simple act of opening up creates an instant bond with the audience, turning them into your biggest cheerleaders.

Having the team share their personal experiences is also a good group presentation introduction approach. Team members can share their own stories that are related to the topic to create an emotional connection with your audience. 

presentation starting quote

Tell a relevant story

Start your presentation with a riveting story that hooks your audience and relates to your main message. Stories have a magical way of captivating hearts and minds. Organize your slides in a clear and sequential manner and use visuals that complement your narrative and evoke emotions to engage the audience.

With Venngage, you have access to a vast library of high-quality and captivating stock photography, offering thousands of options to enrich your presentations. The best part? It’s entirely free! Elevate your visual storytelling with stunning images that complement your content, captivate your audience and add a professional touch to your presentation. 

Venngage Stock Photo Library

Use a powerful quote

Sometimes, all you need is some wise words to work wonders. Begin with a powerful quote from a legendary figure that perfectly fits your presentation’s theme — a dose of inspiration sets the stage for an epic journey.

Build anticipation

Provide a brief outline.

Here’s a good introduction for presentation example if you’re giving a speech at a conference. For longer presentations or conferences with multiple speakers especially, providing an outline helps the audience stay focused on the key takeaways. That way, you can better manage your time and ensure that you cover all the key points without rushing or running out of time.

Pose a problem and offer a solution

A great idea on how to start a business presentation is to start by presenting a problem and offering a well-thought-out solution. By addressing their pain points and showcasing your solution, you’ll capture their interest and set the stage for a compelling and successful presentation.

Back up your solution with data, research, or case studies that demonstrate its effectiveness. This can also be a good reporting introduction example that adds credibility to your proposal.

Preparing a pitch deck can be a daunting task but fret not. This guide on the 30+ best pitch deck tips and examples has everything you need to bring on new business partners and win new client contracts. Alternatively, you can also get started by customizing one of our professional pitch deck templates for free. 

presentation starting quote

Incite curiosity in the audience

Utilize visuals or props.

Capture your audience’s gaze by whipping out captivating visuals or props that add an exciting touch to your subject. A well-placed prop or a stunning visual can make your presentation pop like a fireworks show!

That said, you maybe wondering — how can I make my presentation more attractive.  A well-designed presentation background instantly captures the audience’s attention and creates a positive first impression. Here are 15 presentation background examples to keep the audience awake to help you get inspired. 

Use humor or wit

Sprinkle some humor and wit to spice things up. Cracking a clever joke or throwing in a witty remark can break the ice and create a positively charged atmosphere. If you’re cracking your head on how to start a group presentation, humor is a great way to start a presentation speech. 

Get your team members involved in the fun to create a collaborative and enjoyable experience for everyone. Laughter is the perfect way to break the ice and set a positive tone for your presentation!

presentation starting quote

Invoke emotion

Get those heartstrings tugging! Start with a heartfelt story or example that stirs up emotions and connects with your audience on a personal level. Emotion is the secret sauce to a memorable presentation.

Aside from getting creative with your introduction, a well-crafted and creative presentation can boost your confidence as a presenter. Browse our catalog of creative presentation templates and get started right away!

Use a dramatic pause

A great group presentation example is to start with a powerful moment of silence, like a magician about to reveal their greatest trick. After introducing your team, allow a brief moment of silence. Hold the pause for a few seconds, making it feel deliberate and purposeful. This builds anticipation and curiosity among the audience.

Pique their interest

Share a fun fact or anecdote.

Time for a little fun and games! Kick-off with a lighthearted or fascinating fact that’ll make the audience go, “Wow, really? Tell me more!” A sprinkle of amusement sets the stage for an entertaining ride.

While an introduction for a presentation sets the tone for your speech, a good slide complements your spoken words, helping the audience better understand and remember your message. Check out these 12 best presentation software for 2023 that can aid your next presentation. 

presentation starting quote

The opening moments of a presentation can make or break your entire talk. It’s your chance to grab your audience’s attention, set the tone, and lay the foundation for a successful presentation. However, there are some common pitfalls that speakers often fall into when starting their presentations. 

Starting with Apologies

It might be tempting to start with a preemptive apology, especially if you’re feeling nervous or unsure about your presentation. However, beginning with unnecessary apologies or self-deprecating remarks sets a negative tone right from the start. Instead of exuding confidence and credibility, you’re unintentionally undermining yourself and your message. 

Reading from Slides

One of the most common blunders in the opening of a PowerPoint presentation is reading directly from your slides or script. While it’s crucial to have a well-structured outline, reciting word-for-word can lead to disengagement and boredom among your audience. Maintain eye contact and connect with your listeners as you speak. Your slides should complement your words, not replace them.

presentation starting quote

Overwhelming with Information

In the excitement to impress, some presenters bombard their audience with too much information right at the beginning.

Instead of overloading the audience with a sea of data, statistics or technical details that can quickly lead to confusion and disinterest, visualize your data with the help of Venngage. Choose an infographic template that best suits the type of data you want to visualize. Venngage offers a variety of pre-designed templates for charts, graphs, infographics and more.

Venngage Infographics Templates

Ignoring the Audience

It’s easy to get caught up in the content and forget about the people in front of you. Don’t overlook the importance of acknowledging the audience and building a connection with them. Greet them warmly, make eye contact and maintain body language to show genuine interest in their presence. Engage the audience early on by asking a show of hands question or encourage audience participation. 

Lack of Clarity

Your audience should know exactly what to expect from your presentation. Starting with a vague or unclear opening leaves them guessing about the purpose and direction of your talk. Clearly communicate the topic and objectives of your presentation right from the beginning. This sets the stage for a focused and coherent message that resonates with your audience.

Simplicity makes it easier for the audience to understand and retain the information presented. Check out our gallery of simple presentation templates to keep your opening concise and relevant. 

presentation starting quote

Skipping the Hook

The opening of your presentation is the perfect opportunity to hook your audience’s attention and keep them engaged. However, some presenters overlook this crucial aspect and dive straight into the content without any intrigue. Craft an attention-grabbing hook that sparks curiosity, poses a thought-provoking question or shares an interesting fact. A compelling opening is like the key that unlocks your audience’s receptivity to the rest of your presentation.

Now that you’ve got the gist of how to introduce a presentation, further brush up your speech with these tips on how to make a persuasive presentation and how to improve your presentation skills to create an engaging presentation . 

presentation starting quote

How can I overcome nervousness at the beginning of a presentation?

To overcome nervousness at the beginning of a presentation, take deep breaths, practice beforehand, and focus on connecting with your audience rather than worrying about yourself.

How long should the opening of a presentation be?

The opening of a presentation should typically be brief, lasting around 1 to 3 minutes, to grab the audience’s attention and set the tone for the rest of the talk.

Should I memorize my presentation’s opening lines?

While it’s helpful to know your opening lines, it’s better to understand the key points and flow naturally to maintain authenticity and flexibility during the presentation.

Should I use slides during the opening of my presentation?

Using slides sparingly during the opening can enhance the message, but avoid overwhelming the audience with too much information early on.

How do I transition smoothly from the opening to the main content of my presentation?

Transition smoothly from the opening to the main content by providing a clear and concise outline of what’s to come, signaling the shift and maintaining a logical flow between topics.

Just as a captivating opening draws your audience in, creating a well-crafted presentation closing has the power to leave a lasting impression. Wrap up in style with these 10 ways to end a presentation .

Presenting virtually? Check out these tips on how to ace your next online presentation . 

Captivating your audience from the very beginning is crucial for a successful presentation. The first few moments of your talk can set the tone and determine whether your audience remains engaged throughout or loses interest. 

Start with a compelling opening that grabs their attention. You can use a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic or a powerful quote to pique their curiosity. Alternatively, storytelling can be a potent tool to draw them into your narrative. It’s essential to establish a personal connection early on, whether by sharing a relatable experience or expressing empathy towards their needs and interests.

Lastly, be mindful of your body language and vocal delivery. A confident and engaging speaker can captivate an audience, so make eye contact, use appropriate gestures and vary your tone to convey passion and sincerity.

In conclusion, captivating your audience from the very beginning requires thoughtful preparation, engaging content and a confident delivery. With Venngage’s customizable templates, you can adapt your presentation to suit the preferences and interests of your specific audience, ensuring maximum engagement. Go on and get started today!

How to Start a Presentation | 13 Golden Presentation Openers to Wow Audience in 2024

How to Start a Presentation | 13 Golden Presentation Openers to Wow Audience in 2024

Lawrence Haywood • 05 Apr 2024 • 13 min read

What are the perfect presentation openers? Did you know this? Knowing how to start a presentation is knowing how to present .

No matter how brief, the first moments of your presentation are a huge deal. They have a massive impact not only on what follows but also on whether or not your audience follows along with you.

Sure, it’s tricky, it’s nerve-wracking, and it’s crucial to nail down. But , with these 13 ways to start a presentation and appealing presentation starting words, you can captivate any audience from your very first sentence.

Table of Contents

  • Ask a Question
  • Introduce as a Person
  • Tell a Story
  • Give a Fact
  • Be Super Visual
  • Use a Quote
  • Make ’em Laugh
  • Share expectations
  • Poll your audience
  • Live polls live thoughts
  • Two Truths and A Lie
  • Flying challenges
  • Super competitive Quiz Games

Frequently Asked Questions

More tips with ahaslides.

  • How to write a presentation
  • Presentation Description

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Start in seconds.

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1. Ask a Question

So, how to start a speech presentation? Let me ask you this : how many times have you opened a presentation with a question?

Furthermore, have you ever wondered why an immediate question might be a great way to start a presentation?

Well, let me answer that one. Questions are interactive , and interactive presentation is what audiences bored to death of one-way monologues crave the most.

Robert Kennedy III , the international keynote speaker, lists four types of questions to use right at the beginning of your presentation:

While these questions might be engaging, they’re not really questions, are they? You don’t ask them in the hope that your audience will stand up, one-by-one, and actually answer them.

There’s only one thing better than a rhetorical question like this: a question that your audience truly answers , live, right in the moment.

There’s a free tool for that…

AhaSlides lets you start your presentation with a question slide, then gather actual answers and opinions from your audience (via their phones) in real-time. These questions can be word clouds , open-ended questions , rating scales , live quizzes , and so much more.

Not only does opening in this way get your audience immediately paying attention in starting a presentation, it also covers some of the other tips mentioned in this article. Including …

  • Getting factual – Your audience’s responses are the facts.
  • Making it visual – Their responses are presented in a graph, scale or word cloud.
  • Being super relatable – The audience is fully involved in your presentation, both from the outside and the inside.

presentation starting quote

Create an Active Audience.

Click below to make a fully interactive presentation for free on AhaSlides.

Kich off the right way

2. Introduce Yourself as a Person, not a Presenter

How to start a presentation about yourself? What things to include in an about me presentation? Some great, all-encompassing advice on how to introduce yourself in a presentation comes from Conor Neill , serial entrepreneur and president of Vistage Spain.

He likens starting a presentation to meeting someone new at a bar. He’s not talking about quaffing 5 pints beforehand to establish Dutch courage; more like introducing yourself in a way that feels friendly, natural and most of all, personal .

  • Introduce team member
  • How to introduce yourself

Imagine this : You’re in a bar where someone piqued your interest. After a few furtive glances, you build up the courage and approach them with this:

Hi, I’m Gary, I’ve been an economic biologist for 40 years and I want to talk to you about the microeconomics of ants . – Your introduction slide about yourself ! And you’re going home alone tonight.

No matter how attractive your topic is, no one wants to hear the far-too-commonly-used ‘ name, title, topic’ procession, as it offers nothing personal to latch onto.

Imagine this : You’re in the same bar a week later, and someone else has piqued your interest. Let’s try this again, you think, and tonight you go with this:

Oh hey, I’m Gary, I think we know someone in common… – You , establishing a connection .

This time, you’ve decided to treat your listener as a friend to be made rather than as a passive audience. You’ve introduced yourself in a personal way that has made a connection and has opened the door to intrigue.

When it comes to introduction ideas for presentation, we recommend checking out the full ‘How to start a presentation’ speech by Conor Neill below. Sure, it’s from 2012, and he makes some dust-coated references to Blackberries, but his advice is timeless and incredibly helpful. It’s a fun watch; he’s entertaining, and he knows what he’s talking about. 

3. Tell a Story – How to Start a Speech Off

How to start an introduction for a presentation? If you did watch the full video above, you’d know that Conor Neill’s absolute favourite tip for starting a presentation is this: telling a story .

Think about how this magical sentence makes you feel:

Once upon a time…

For pretty much every child that hears these 4 words, this is an instant attention grabber . Even as a man in his 30s, this opener still makes me wonder what might follow.

Just on the off-chance that the audience for your presentation isn’t a room of 4-year-olds, don’t worry – there are grown-up versions of ‘once upon a time’ .

And they all involve people. Just like these:

  • “The other day, I met someone who completely changed my thinking…”
  • “There’s a person at my company who once told me….”
  • “I’ll never forget this customer we had 2 years ago…”

Remember this 👉 Good stories are about people ; they’re not about things. They’re not about products or companies or revenue; they’re about the lives, the achievements, the struggles and the sacrifices of the people behind the things.

how to start a presentation

Aside from conjuring an immediate surge of interest by humanising your topic, there are several other benefits to starting a presentation with a story:

  • Stories make YOU more relatable – Just like in tip #2 , stories can make you, the presenter, seem more personal. Your experiences with others speak far louder to audiences than stale introductions of your topic.
  • They give you a central theme – Though stories are a great way to start a presentation, they also help to keep the entire thing cohesive. Calling back to your initial story at later points in your presentation not only helps to solidify your information in the real world but it also keeps the audience engaged through the narrative.
  • They’re jargon busters – Ever heard a children’s story that starts with ‘ once upon a time, Prince Charming drilled down on the actionability principle inherent in agile methodology ‘? A good, natural story has inherent simplicity that any audience can understand.

💡 Going virtual with your presentation? Check out seven tips on how to make it seamless !

4. Get Factual

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on earth.

Did your mind just explode with questions, thoughts and theories? That’s how to start a presentation, as the best way for the powerpoint Presentation Introduction!

Using a fact as an opener to a presentation is an instant attention grabber.

Naturally, the more shocking the fact is, the more your audience is drawn to it. While it’s tempting to go for pure shock factor, facts need to have some mutual connection with the topic of your presentation. They need to offer an easy segue into the body of your material.

Here’s an example I recently used at an online event ran from Singapore 👇 “In the U.S alone, around 1 billion trees’ worth of paper are thrown away yearly.”

The speech I was giving was about our software, AhaSlides, which provides ways to make presentations and quizzes interactive without using stacks of paper.

Though that’s not the biggest selling point of AhaSlides, it was super easy for me to connect that shocking statistic and what our software offers. From there, segueing into the bulk of the topic was a breeze.

A quote gives the audience something tangible , memorable and understandable to chew on, all while you proceed into a presentation that will likely be a series of more abstract ideas.

5. Make it Visual – How to Introduce a Topic in a Presentation

There’s a reason I chose the GIF above: it’s a mix between a fact and an engaging visual .

While facts grab attention through words, visuals achieve the same thing by appealing to a different part of the brain. A more easily stimulated part of the brain.

Facts and visuals usually go hand-in-hand regarding how to start a presentation. Check out these facts about visuals:

  • Using images endears you to the 65% of people who are visual learners. ( Lucidpress )
  • Image-based content gets 94% more views than text-based content ( QuickSprout )
  • Presentations with visuals are 43% more persuasive ( Venngage )

It’s the last stat here that has the most significant implications for you.

Think about this 👇 I could spend all day telling you, through voice and text, about the impact of plastic on our oceans. You may not listen, but the chances are that you will be more convinced by a single image:

Image of jellyfish as plastic waste.

That’s because images, art in particular, are way better at connecting to your emotions than I am. And connecting to emotions, whether through introductions, stories, facts, quotes or images, gives a presentation its persuasive power .

On a more practical level, visuals also help make potentially complex data super clear. While it’s not a great idea to start a presentation with a graph that risks overwhelming the audience with data, visual presentation material like this can certainly be your best friend later on.

6. Use a Solitary Quote – How to Start off a Presentation Speech

Like a fact, a single quote might be the best way to start a presentation as it can add a vast deal of credibility to your point.

Unlike a fact, however, it’s the source of the quote that often carries a lot of the gravitas.

The thing is, literally anything anyone says can be considered a quote. Stick some quotation marks around it and…

…you’ve got yourself a quote. Lawrence Haywood – 2021

How to start a presentation with a quote.

Starting a presentation with a quote is pretty great. What you want is a quote that starts a presentation with a bang. To do that, it has to check these boxes:

  • Thought-provoking : Something that gets the audience’s brains working the second they hear it.
  • Punchy : Something 1 or 2 sentences long and short sentences.
  • Self-explanatory : Something that requires no further input from you to aid understanding.
  • Relevant : Something that helps you segue into your topic.

For mega-engagement, I’ve found it’s sometimes a good idea to go with a controversial quote .

I’m not talking about something completely heinous that gets you thrown out of the conference, just something that doesn’t encourage a unilateral ‘nod and move on’ response from your audience. The best opening words for presentations might come from controversial opinions.

Check this example 👇 “When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life. Now that I am old, I know that it is” – Oscar Wilde.

This certainly isn’t a quote that elicits total agreement. Its controversial nature offers immediate attention, a great talking point and even a way to encourage audience participation via a ‘how much do you agree?’ question ( like in tip #1 ).

7. Make it Humorous – How to make a Boring Presentation Funny?

One more thing a quote can offer you is the chance to get people laughing .

How many times have you, yourself, been an unwilling audience member in your 7th presentation of the day, needing some reason to smile as the presenter plunges you head-first into the 42 problems of stopgap solution bring ?

Humour takes your presentation one step closer to a show and one step further from a funeral procession.

Aside from being a great stimulator, a bit of comedy can also give you these benefits:

  • To melt the tension – For you, primarily. Kicking off your presentation with a laugh or even a chuckle can do wonders for your confidence.
  • To form a bond with the audience – The very nature of humour is that it’s personal. It’s not business. It’s not data. It’s human, and it’s endearing.
  • To make it memorable – Laughter has been proven to increase short-term memory. If you want your audience to remember your key takeaways: make ’em laugh.

Not a comedian? Not a problem. Check out these tips on how to start a presentation with humour 👇

  • Use a funny quote – You don’t have to be funny if you quote someone who is.
  • Don’t crowbar it – If you’re finding it difficult to think of a funny way to start your presentation, just leave it. Forced humour is the absolute worst.
  • Flip the script – I mentioned in tip #1 to keep introductions away from the over-flogged ‘name, title, topic’ formula, but the ‘name, title, pun’ formula can funnily break the mould. Check out below what I mean…

My name is (name) , I am a (title) and (pun) .

And here it is in action:

My name is Chris, I’m an astronomer and lately my whole career has been looking up. You, getting off on the right foot

8. Share expectations – Best Way to Open a Speech

People have different expectations and background knowledge when they attend your presentations. Knowing their objectives can provide a value that you can use to adjust your presenting style. Adapting to people’s needs and meeting the expectations of everyone can result in a successful presentation for all involved.

You can do this by holding a small Q&A session on  AhaSlides . When you start your presentation, invite attendees to post the questions they are most curious about. You can use the Q and A slide pictured below.

Some questions that I am happy to be asked:

9. Poll your audience – Different Way to Present a Presentation

This is another easy way to boost the excitement levels and creativity of everyone in the room! As the host, split the audience into pairs or trios, give them a topic and then ask teams to make a list of possible responses. Then have each team submit their answers as fast as possible to a Word Cloud or Open-Ended question panel on  AhaSlides . The results will show up live in your slide show!

The topic of the game does not need to be the topic of the presentation. It can be about anything fun but provokes a lighthearted debate and energises everyone.

Some suggested topics are:

  • Three ways to name a group of animals (Eg: a cupboard of pandas, etc.)
  • Best characters in the TV show Riverdale
  • Five alternative ways to use a pen

Get free templates to wow your audience with a great introduction in your next presentation. Sign up for free and take what you want from the template library!

10. Live polls, Live thoughts

If you’re worried that the above games have too much “typing”, then an icebreaker with a live poll will capture everyone’s attention but take much less effort. The questions can be funny and silly, industry-related, and debate-prompting, and are designed to get your audience networking.

Another idea is to start with easy-going, essential questions and move on to trickier ones. In this way, you lead the audience toward the topic of your presentation and thereafter, you can build up your presentation based on these questions.

Don’t forget to organise the game on an online platform like  AhaSlides . By doing this, responses can be displayed live on the screen; everyone can see how many people think like them!

🎊 Tips: Use the idea board to organise your options better!

presentation starting quote

11. Two Truths and A Lie – Another Way of ‘Get to know Me Presentation’

Spin more fun to your session! This is a classic icebreaker game with a straightforward rule. You have to share three facts, only two of which are true, and the audience must guess which one is the lie. The statements can be about you or the audience; however, if attendees have never met before, you should give out prompts about yourself.

Collect as many sets of statements as possible, then create an online multiple-choice poll for each one. On D-Day, present them and let everyone vote on the lie. Tip: Remember to hide the correct answer till the end!

You can get ideas for this game  here .

Or, check out the ‘real’ Get to Know me Games

12. Flying challenges

Icebreakers mostly center around you – the presenter – handing out questions and requests to the audience, so why not mix it up and have them take turns challenging each other? This game is a physical task that gets people moving. It’s a beautiful way to rock the whole room and get people interacting.

Give out paper and pens to the audience and ask them to think of challenges for the others before crumpling them into balls. Then, count down from three and throw them into the air! Ask people to grab the one nearest them and invite them to read the challenges.

Everyone loves winning, so you can’t imagine how challenging this can be! The audience will be even more motivated if you put up a prize for the most exciting questions!

13. Super competitive quiz games

How to make a presentation fun? Nothing can beat games at hyping people up. Knowing this, you should have your audience jump straight into a fun quiz at the beginning of your presentation. Wait and see how energised and hyped up they become!

The best thing: This is not limited only to entertaining or easy-going presentations, but also more “serious” formal and scientific ones. With several topic-focused questions, attendees can get a clearer insight into what ideas you are about to bring them while becoming more familiar with you.

If you are successful, the preconception that a presentation must be painstakingly nerve-wracking disappears almost immediately. All that is left is pure excitement and a crowd eager for more information.

Need more interactive presentation ideas ? AhaSlides got you covered!

Why is it Important to Start a Presentation Effectively?

Starting a presentation effectively is crucial because it sets the tone for the entire presentation and can capture the audience’s attention and interest. If you fail to engage your audience at the beginning, they may quickly lose interest, be bored and tune out, making it difficult to get the message across effectively.

Unique ways to start a presentation?

A few ways to make it unique include Telling a Story, Starting with a Surprising Statistic, Using a Prop, Beginning with a Quote or Starting with a Provocative Question!

Three keys to a Successful Presentation

Engaging Opener, Inspiring Stories with a Clear Call to Action

Starting lines of presentation?

Good morning/afternoon everyone, welcome to my presentation Let me start by saying a few words about myself. As you can see, our main topic for today is…… This talk is designed to …

When a quotation is used in a presentation you should…

Cite every source clearly, during speaking, in handouts to participants and also on the slides.

Bonus Download! Free Presentation Template

Begin with total engagement. Grab the free template above, adjust it for your topic, and get your audience involved live.

Make it interactive

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Lawrence Haywood

Former ESL teacher and quiz master converted to the wild slide. Now a content creator, traveller, musician and big time slider preaching the good word of interactivity.

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What is 7x7? The Golden Rule For Your PowerPoint Presentation in 2024

How To Create Attention-Grabbing Presentation Quotes

Nata kostenko.

  • May 23, 2018

There’s a trend in presentation design to illustrate data with stories.

Stories help people to emotionally connect to the narrative, and thus understand the information better.

Sometimes a presenter can tell a story in his or her own words. Yet, quite often, there is a quote that perfectly fits the flow of the presentation and sums everything up .

And that’s why the best presenters don’t memorize meaningful quotes; they design slides for them.

Depending on how well things are done, these presentation quote slides can either become a distraction, or an instrument to enhance the discussion.

I assume you’d go for the latter option?

If so, I’m here to help. Here are some suggestions to help you make a beautiful and powerful quote slide for your next presentation.

Tip 1: Combine Two Fonts

Michael Jordan Presentation Quote: You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them

First things first, understand  exactly what your quote is about.

What kind of person said the phrase?

Is it a fluffy quote?

Was it said by a CEO of a big company ?

A famous artist maybe?

Answering these questions will help you get an idea of what fonts to use.

Now, go to Google Fonts  and check the boxes that are relevant to the style you have in mind.

A good tactic to use is to combine handwriting fonts with Sans Serif ones. Or, you could even choose an uppercase bold font with a sentence case thin italic.

Whatever choice you make, just make sure it fits the context of the quote.

Tip 2: Insert a Quote Symbol

General Presentation Quote: Let your dreams be bigger than your fears

I know, this might be an obvious trick. But using a quote symbol can be effective.

This way, your audience won’t need to think twice about what they’re looking at. It’ll be clear as night and day. Plus, you’re making the quote really easy to digest. It’s a double win!

By the way, opting for a quote symbol does NOT mean that you add quotation marks to your text and call it a day. That’s boring. We’re after creative vibes!

Think about placing the quote symbol just over the text, behind the first word, or if you’re feeling a little adventurous and know how to play with colors , behind all of the text.

Feel free to experiment and see what works!

Tip 3: Use Lines and Shapes

Presentation Quote from Native American Proverb: Live as strong as the mountains

This tip’s easy.

All you have to do is add a simple line or shape to spice up your presentation quote.

  • Experiment with dash types to create an unusual effect;
  • Draw attention to the quote by putting a dotted box around it; or
  • Create a circle or square around the quotes symbol.

Another solution could be working with the background of the whole slide.

For example, if you have two quotes with opposite opinions, you could add a shape of a different color to the background to divide the slide into two contrasting sections.

Play around with the ideas I suggested and see what works for you.

Tip 4: Work With Images

Presentation Quote Example from Walt Disney: all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them

Think about what you would like to emphasize in the quote you’ve selected. Who said it? What was said? How do you think it was said?

Then, go ahead and find an image or illustration relevant to the quote. The image you select should add a little more emphasis and make your quote more meaningful.

Oh, and when searching for images or illustrations, be sure to check its quality before inserting it on the slide.

If you can’t find the right image, then try to come up with second level associations. For example, if the quote is about uniqueness, you can use photos of unicorns, fingerprints or Mars. Each of them highlight a different feeling.

Tip 5: Keep Your Presentation Quote Simple

Presentation Quote example from Rumi: what you seek is seeking you

It has been said many times, yet this is very important to remind: keep the slides as simple as possible .

Place the quote, mention the author, add an image and a couple of lines or shapes — that’s all you need to do .

Don’t clutter the slide with extra elements. Don’t try to impress the audience with your design skills.

A Hands-On Presentation Quote Tutorial

Looking for a hands-on guide that will teach you  exactly how to create a beautiful presentation quote?

Slide Cow published an easy to follow, step-by-step video tutorial on creating the ultimate presentation quote . It covers all of the tips in the post, and some. You should probably give it a watch.

What Would You Do?

There’s a good chance you have had some kind of experience with a presentation quote. The beautiful thing about these slides is that there’s more than one way of doing things.

So, tell me. What would you do? Would you use another tip that I didn’t cover in this post?

Just let me know in the comments section below!

Nata Kostenko

Thank you. You’re very good at what you do.

Thank you so much!

Great job! These are fab-looking slides, and I’ve added a link to this page on my own post about using quotes in presentations .

I’ve also a question: I notice your quotes tend to be in all caps or all lowercase – what advice do you have to non-designers on what capitalisation to use for quotes? (Being a writer, I tend to go for sentence case every time!)

Thanks Craig!

To answer your question: it really just depends on what suits the slide’s tone. Something that exudes energy, for example, tends to be all caps. Something calm and collective tends to be lower case. It all just depends on how we want the audience to feel.

[…] of well-designed quote slides on Marc Jadoul’s blog. And for inspiration, there are some even better-looking quote slides by Nata Kostenko on the Slide Cow […]

I found your site yesterday and watched many of your awesome videos!

I notice you use some interesting fonts (Muli, Galano Grotesque, etc). Do you have any posts on some font sites you recommend or how you get creative (but still professional looking) with fonts? What are you looking for when you choose a particular font?

Also, if I already have a starting color (eg. my company’s logo color), is there a site that will do something like the Color Supply color wheel using my starting color?

Thanks for all the incredible tips. Bill

Got a project for us?

© Slide Cow. All rights reserved.

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7 Dynamic Ways to Start a Presentation [With Examples]

7 Dynamic Ways to Start a Presentation with Examples

Of course, we’ve all been there as a speaker. First, we design a powerful presentation. Then, we nervously walk out onto a stage or into the front of the room. The audience stares with skepticism written all over their faces. This stoic crowd has no patience for speakers who waste their time. And their demeanor is showing that fact right now. In a timid voice, we start with a simple, “Good morning.” We get no response from the audience — no warm welcome at all. As a result, our nervousness increases dramatically.

The good news is that your speech doesn’t have to start this way. Your first words will create first impressions.

So, in this session, I’m going to give you the best way to start a successful presentation so you can win over the audience members. Below are a few of my favorite ways to start a speech that will help you capture the attention of your audience and get even the most stoic crowd to want more from you.

Here is the list of effective presentation openers.

7 Dynamic Ways to Start Your Next Presentation.

  • Give Your Presentation Summary and Conclusion First.
  • Start the Presentation with a Compelling Story.
  • Use a Startling Statistic to Start a Presentation.
  • A Funny or Motivational Quote or One-Liner.
  • Start with an Opinion Asking Question.
  • Make a Powerful or Shocking Statement to Start a Speech.
  • Arouse Curiosity with a Hook.
  • A Bonus Way to Start a Presentation Is to Add Showmanship.

How to Start a Presentation and Help Your Audience Remember Your Content.

(1) give a summary and conclusion at the beginning of a presentation..

Give Your Presentation Summary and Conclusion First

As a speaker, you have a lot going against you. The biggest challenge is that most of the people who are in your audience would really rather be somewhere else. So starting with the conclusion gives them a reason to tune in and pay attention to the content.

TV shows and movies do this a lot. The first scene in Titanic is 90-year-old Rose wheeling onto the salvage ship. Immediately, she asked the Captain to see her painting. “Wasn’t I a dish?”

We all know the story of Titanic, but by starting 70 years into the future, we already know that somehow, Rose was going to survive the tragedy. We pay attention because we want to see how she did it.

You probably also recall Netflix series that show a quick introduction and then a flashback to an earlier time.

You can create the same effect in your presentation introduction by making your title a conclusion that you want the audience to draw. Then, lay out each main point that will help them come to that conclusion.

For instance, “My topic today is Five Ways to Get Your Executives to Increase Your Department Budget, and the items we will cover are…” Of course, this technique works best when your title is a result that your audience really wants.

This is an easy way to start a presentation. You can use a single PowerPoint presentation slide as a visual aid to capture the audience’s attention right away! (FYI, you can also use this technique at the end of a presentation.)

More details about this are in Start with a Great Title .

(2) Start the Presentation with a Compelling Story

Start the Presentation with a Compelling Story

I taught a private presentation class for Mitsubishi once. And I could tell walking into the room that this was going to be a tough crowd. The culture of the predominately Japanese company is fairly quiet and conservative. Most often, when I introduce myself to class members, people are warm and friendly. Since I’m a guest in their office, most try to make me feel at home.

By the way, the Mitsubishi organizer did this here as well. However, as the participants came into the room, each walked in without saying a word. Each sat down, opened their laptops, and quietly began typing on their keyboards.

I did my best to try to get them to open up. But very few of them were laughing at my jokes or smiling at me as I asked them questions. (Tough crowd.)

So, when I started the class, I knew I needed something that would help the group relate to me. I decided to go into a fairly detailed version of an experience where I totally bombed a speech. I added a lot of self-deprecating humor to the story. Afterward, the mood in the room lightened quite a bit. It was an easy way to get the audience to feel more at ease and become more relatable to them.

Stories are easy additions to any speech. For instance, if you are giving a project report, you can start with a memorable event that occurred on the project since the last meeting. Or, if you are giving a financial report where profit is up, just give a great example of something that caused profit to increase.

(3) Or You Could Use a Startling Statistic to Start a Presentation.

Use a Startling Statistic to Start a Presentation

By doing a little research, you can often find a good (and or startling) statistic that can capture attention quickly. You can also create a good introduction by phrasing the statistic as a provocative statement.

For instance, let’s say you are giving a financial presentation where revenue for your company was up 2.5% last quarter. You might look up the statistics for your industry as a whole in the same quarter. Then, you can start your speech with that data. “The electronics industry as a whole was up 3.4% last quarter. However, our company underperformed the industry with only a 2.5% increase in revenue.”

The easiest way to find statistics about your topic is to just do a Google search [Your Topic} followed by the word “statistic”.

Here Are a Few Examples of Using Google to Get Shocking Statistics.

I’ll give some examples. I just did a Google search for “Popular Ted Talks” and came up with an article about the Top 25 Most Shared Ted Talk videos . I just pasted the names of the talks into Google with the word “statistic” added and this is what I came up with.

  • Does School Kill Creativity? According to the Adobe® State of Create global benchmark study , 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and more than half of those surveyed feel that creativity is being stifled by their education systems.
  • Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are – We receive 82% of information from what we see, 11% from what we hear, and only 7% by all the other senses combined. ( The Body Language Info-graphic .)
  • How Great Leaders Inspire Action – 84% of organizations anticipate a shortfall in leaders within the next five years. ( 13 Shocking Leadership Development Statistics .)

So, it is really easy to create compelling statistics to get your audience to think differently about your topic just as you begin to speak.

Bonus Tip: Combine More than One of these Intros for Even More Impact.

You can combine the last two tips for even more impact. Place a statistic along with a story of how you found the statistic at the beginning of your presentation. This is a great way to start your presentation. “I remember watching Jerry Seinfeld do a stand-up bit. He mentioned that the fear of public speaking was the number one fear in America. Then he looked down the list and saw that the fear of death was number five. So, you are five times more likely to rather be in the casket than up giving the eulogy at a funeral.”

The key to each of these first tips is that they increase the retention of information for your audience.

For instance, using the Summary technique, you give your audience an introduction with your presentation topic and key points. Then as you go through each point, they hear each one again. Finally, you summarize the points one more time at the end of your presentation. The audience is now more likely to remember your important points. because of this subtle repetition.

A good story will also increase retention. Stories have a way of creating visual images in the mind of the audience that is more memorable than just facts alone. A startling statistic gets the audience to think, “Is that really true?” so they pay attention more.

Quick Presentation Starters to Capture Attention

(4) a funny or motivational quote or one-liner..

A Funny or Motivational Quote or One-Liner

“There are two types of speakers: Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” — Mark Twain

A powerful quote is an effective way to make a positive first impression. It also adds a little humor. You can find quotes like this for your presentations as well. Just like with statistics, you can Google your topic with the word “quotes” to get ideas.

  • Does School Kill Creativity? – “Creativity is the greatest expression of liberty.” — Bryant H. McGill
  • Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are. – “Language is a more recent technology. Your body language, your eyes, your energy will come through to your audience before you even start speaking.” — Peter Guber
  • How Great Leaders Inspire Action. – “A leader is the one, who knows the way, goes the way and show the way” — John Maxwell

Bonus Tip: Reference a quote, and then add your own take to the quote.

Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” But have you ever thought to realize that every single invention ever created by man was once just an idea born from someone’s need?

(5) Start with an Opinion Asking Question.

Start with an Opinion Asking Question

“In a perfect world, if your team was able to present their ideas to your customers more effectively, what would they be doing that they are not doing now?”

This technique is more challenging for a presenter. You have to be able to take whatever your audience gives you and design a killer presentation on the fly. However, if you have done good research before the meeting, you shouldn’t be surprised by the answers you get.

Keep in mind that only the best presenters use this technique. So, when you add open-ended questions to your speech, you will increase your stature as a speaker as well.

By the way, the question should be open-ended, meaning that the audience is giving you their opinions. Rhetorical questions and show of hands questions can backfire. Your audience may think you are trying to manipulate them. So, the important thing to remember is to ask a question that asks for the opinion of the audience members. That way, as they answer, everyone can be correct..

(6) Make a Powerful or Shocking Statement to Start a Speech.

Make a Powerful or Shocking Statement to Start a Speech

I will then follow this statement with a list of different tips that people try that don’t work really well. (Things like picturing your audience naked.)

The funny thing is that many of the people in the room will question the truthfulness of the statement the first time I say it. It is a bold claim. They don’t confront me, though. However, when I look around the room, I can see the distrust on their faces.

However, as I begin to list the crazy tips one by one, they begin to realize the truthfulness of the statement. Internally, the checklist sounds like this…

  • To reduce nervousness, you should pretend your audience is naked. (Man, he’s right. I tried that. It doesn’t work.)
  • You should memorize your speech word-for-word. Actually, if you lose your place when reciting the speech, you just get more nervous. (That one is true too.)
  • You should practice in front of a mirror or record yourself speaking. Actually, you are your own worst critic. You will nitpick every little thing that you do wrong. (Yup, I’ve done that one too. Wow, maybe he’s right. Those things don’t work at all.)

Another shocking statement I use is to foreshadow a future behavior in the speech. When I lead team activities, I often have them play a game to divide into teams. So, I might start the presentation with, “In less than 15 minutes, some of you chivalrous men who opened a door for a young lady when she came into the room will actually be chicken-winging that woman to take something from her.” Of course, when something like that actually happens, everyone erupts in laughter.

(7) Arouse Curiosity with a Hook.

Arouse Curiosity with a Hook

Talk radio, television news, and reality TV shows do this brilliantly.

I remember years ago watching season one of Survivor. The season winner was an eccentric guy named Richard Hatch, who was a good fisherman, so he fed the group. However, he also did things to keep the other contestants a little off their game. At the start of one of the episodes, Richard was walking along the beach buck-naked with his bottom blurred out by the producers.

I remember doing a double-take when the image came on the screen. (There are some things that you just can’t unsee.) I didn’t particularly ever want to see Hatch’s bare bum ever again. However, I had an eager want to find how the heck this happened.

Talk radio guys do this by saying, “At the bottom of the hour, we’re going to…” The technique is like a cliffhanger. Everyone wants to know how the story will end. Will Ross marry Emily, or will Rachel stop the wedding? Will Jon Snow die of his stab wounds? Ken Jennings has won 74 times in a row on Jeopardy. When will he get beaten? What is going to happen now that DEA agent Hank realizes his brother-in-law broke bad? And finally, who shot J.R.?

How to Easily Add a Hook into the Start of Your Presentation.

This is a fun technique to use when you start a presentation. And there are many different ways to do this, depending on the purpose of your presentation.

For instance, you could tell your compelling story, as I suggested earlier. However, don’t tell the ending. Stop right as you get to the climax. Then tell the ending in your conclusion. (More details about this in How to End a Speech .)

Or, the hook can be a cliffhanger or foreshadowing of something later in the presentation. “As we did this research, we uncovered a single habit that, once we change it, will generate an extra quarter of a million dollars for our company. And I will share that secret with you in my final point.”

I actually do this on my podcast as well. I might start the episode by saying something like, “In the last ten minutes of this episode, I’m going to share with you my best, overall, foolproof presentation opener.”

(Which, by the way, is right now…)

A Bonus Way to Start a Presentation Is to Add Showmanship. (Bonus… Not a Foolproof Way.)

Bonus Way to Start a Presentation Is to Add Showmanship

For instance, one time, just after July 4th, my kids had some leftover fireworks. I also had some decorative mailing tubes left over from a failed marketing campaign.

The next morning, I was to speak at a business breakfast. I got to the hotel meeting room before anyone else and filled a trash can with water. Then, I left the can under the presentation table at the front of the room. I stuck one of the sparklers into the top of the mailing tube and waited until my time to speak. The emcee called my name, and I waited at the back of the room. She called my name one more time, and I waited just a bit longer. When she called my name the third time, I lit the sparkler and went rushing to the front of the room.

Of course, the visual aid looked like I was holding a stick of cartoon dynamite. I pulled the trash can from under the table and threw the prop into the can where it sizzled and smoked. The whole audience was looking around like, “What the heck?” I paused and then said, “Do you want to put some sizzle into your presentations?”

Okay, it was cheesy. It was over the top. But it got the whole audience laughing. Everyone in the room remembered who I was and what I did for a living.

A few less over-the-top ways of adding showmanship into your presentation might be…

  • Use Boards Instead of Slides . Everyone expects a slideshow, but if you have a compelling board or poster that is in the front of the room when you start, you can create some curiosity about your topic.
  • You Could Also Get the Audience to Participate in a Demonstration . I had a saleperson from the Riddell helmet company tell us about a football helmet face-mask that could detach with a simple pencil-like tool. He had a couple of men try to pull the face-mask off the helmet and when they failed, he used the tool to remove the mask with one hand. It was a vivid demonstration.
  • Or Just Add a Funny Video . When I teach leadership classes, I often play segments from old Saturday Night Live skits that have the characters doing the exact opposite of what I’m teaching. For instance, I might start a session about avoiding criticism in the workplace with an episode of “Debbie Downer”.

Whatever method that you choose to start your presentation make sure to spend time on developing your content. You don’t want to spend a ton of time creating the perfect opener and then lose the audience with a lackluster presentation afterward.

If You Are Designing a Presentation and Need Help, Reach Out to Us!

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Starting Strong: 14 Ways to Start a Presentation Confidently

Starting Strong: 14 Ways to Start a Presentation Confidently

Table of Contents

How do you grab your audience’s attention the moment you step into the spotlight? The opening moments of a presentation can make or break its success.

Studies show that people will assess your credibility by observing your body language and vocal traits, forming opinions about your proficiency within half a minute. This emphasizes the importance of not only your message but also your delivery.

But how does one confidently open a presentation speech? Don’t worry we got you covered! There are many ways to build a great ‘first impression.’ 

In this blog, you’ll learn how to start a presentation that will impress your audience and keep them hooked till the end. 

how to start a presentation

Why Is Your Presentation Opening Important? 

Before we deep dive into effective steps and tips on how to open a presentation, let’s first understand why is it important. 

The opening of a presentation is like the gateway that sets the tone and captures the audience’s attention. It’s the first impression that can either spark curiosity or cause disinterest. Think of it as opening a novel – a compelling start keeps the reader engaged, while a dull one makes them put the book down. 

For instance, a presentation on climate change could kick off with a shocking statistic about the rapid melting of polar ice caps, instantly grabbing the audience’s attention and highlighting the urgency of the topic. A presentation on cybersecurity could begin with a personal experience of a cyber attack, creating an instant connection with the audience and demonstrating your firsthand knowledge of the topic.

Furthermore, the opening gives you a chance to establish credibility. If you start your presentation with well-researched facts or an interesting question, you instantly show your expertise on the topic. You can also include some personal experiences or a story related to the topic. This gives your audience a strong reason to listen to you.  

How To Start a Presentation Speech: 14 Ways to Follow

Launching your presentation with impact is the key to capturing your audience’s attention and setting the stage for success. In order to help you prepare for your winning moment, let us take you through 14 effective strategies to begin your presentation speech confidently. 

Whether you’re aiming to inspire, inform, or persuade, these proven methods will help you create a compelling opening that leaves a lasting impression on your audience!

1. Paint a Vivid Picture

Use descriptive language to create a mental image related to your topic. Paint a picture with your words. If you’re discussing environmental conservation, start with, “Imagine standing in a lush rainforest, surrounded by vibrant biodiversity. The emerald leaves of tall trees rustle in the gentle breeze while the symphony of birdsong fills the air. Sunlight filters through the dense canopy, casting ethereal rays on the lush forest floor, where colorful flowers bloom, and small creatures scuttle about, adding to the tapestry of life.”

2. Pose a Provocative Question

Allowing your audience to engage right from the start is always a good start to a presentation. You can start with a thought-provoking question like, “ What do you think will happen in the field of marketing in the coming 10 years?”. This will allow you to open up right from the beginning and be receptive to various viewpoints. Additionally, it will also make way for further discussion on the topic. 

3. Use a Metaphor or Simile

Compare your topic to something unexpected. For a presentation on creativity, you might say, “Creativity is like a spark that ignites innovation. Just like striking a match sets off a chain reaction of flickering flames, creativity fuels the fire of ideas, illuminating new possibilities and propelling progress.”

A lady giving a presentation on the Voom video app

4. Share an Intriguing Factoid

Begin with a fascinating and lesser-known fact that captures attention. If you’re presenting about space exploration, start with, “The Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, is now in interstellar space, billions of miles away from Earth. This incredible spacecraft, with its golden record carrying sounds and images representing humanity, serves as a testament to our curiosity and our relentless pursuit of understanding the vast mysteries of the universe.”

5. Tell a Personal Anecdote

Share an engaging and relatable personal story that establishes a connection with the topic. Like, if you are presenting on the topic of overcoming fear and obstacles, you could start with something like: “A few years ago, I faced a significant challenge that completely changed my perspective. They taught me valuable lessons about resilience and determination. Allow me to share this experience with you…”

6. Engage with a Prop

Introduce a physical object or prop that symbolizes your message. For instance, for a presentation on leadership, you could hold up a captain’s hat and say, “Today, we’re setting sail on a remarkable journey where leadership becomes the guiding star, inspiring and empowering others to chart their own course and navigate through uncharted territories of success and growth.” This might come off as funny, but this sure is a good way to capture your audience’s interest.

7. Quote an Unconventional Source

Use a quote from an unexpected or unconventional source. For a presentation on innovation or change, you might quote a famous musician like Bob Dylan: “The times they are a-changin’, and so should we.” Opening with a lighter tone will allow you to connect with your audience a little better.

8. Begin with Silence

To create anticipation and focus, it can be especially powerful to allow a brief moment of silence. This technique is particularly effective when addressing a serious or reflective topic. Taking this pause can help to build an atmosphere that encourages deep thought and engagement from the audience.

9. Use Surprising Data and Statistics

When giving a presentation, it’s important to create the right atmosphere. Discuss the subject and include facts and figures to engage your audience. For example, if you’re talking about email marketing, you can make an opening statement like, “Did you know there are 4.2 billion email users globally?”. 

10. Invoke Curiosity

Share a mysterious or intriguing statement that makes your audience want to know more. Suppose you’re presenting a new software or solution that has the potential to solve an important issue with a bigger ROI. In this case, you can start with something like – “In the next 15 minutes, I’ll share a secret that could change how you solve problems”.

11. Start with a Controversial Statement

Begin with a bold statement that sparks debate. For a presentation on social issues, you might say, “Today, I’m going to challenge our perceptions of equality.” This will not only pique your audience’s attention but also allow them to broaden their perspective and participate.

12. Utilize a Cultural Reference

Make a reference to a current pop culture phenomenon or trending topic. For a presentation on business marketing, start with, “In the age of Instagram and TikTok, marketing is evolving at the speed of a viral video.” Additionally, you can also use videos, GIFs, and visual elements to make your references a bit more colorful and engaging.

13. Share a Poignant Quote

Begin with an impactful quote that touches on the emotional aspect of your topic. If your presentation is about empathy, you could use examples from children’s moral storybooks. You can use examples from public figures. This will allow your audience to feel in a certain way and allow you to connect more with them.

14. Ask for Audience Participation 

During a presentation, it’s vital to get your audience involved and encourage active participation. You can do this by asking them to raise their hands, shout out answers, or respond to a relevant prompt related to the topic you’re discussing. This helps create an interactive and inclusive environment that promotes open communication and engagement from your listeners.

A man's presentation on data and charts

Now that you know how to start a presentation effectively, you might be thinking of ways to create mindblowing presentations! Paired with Google Workplace, SlidesAI is the perfect tool for this. 

SlidesAI is a one-of-a-kind, text-to-slide creator that pairs up with Googe Slides to simplify presentation creation for users on the go. No design skills or experience needed! Just install the SlidesAI extension on your Google Workspace, and you’re good to go!

Make your presentations speak for themselves! Start today.

What should I say when starting a presentation?

Greet your audience well when starting a presentation. Start with a warm welcome note. Then, introduce yourself, talk about the topic, and set the tone for the rest of the presentation.

How do I open and create a presentation?

Creating a presentation is quite easy and simple. You can use Google Slides for one. You can also use tools like SlidesAI to help you optimize it better. With unique features, SlidesAI integrates seamlessly with your Google Workspace. You don’t need any separate applications to run. Just download the SlidesAI extension and start creating slides on your desktop as well as on your phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Creating a presentation is quite easy and simple. You can use Google Slides for one. You can also use tools like SlidesAI to help you optimize it better. With unique features, SlidesAI integrates seamlessly with your Google Workspace. You don't need any separate applications to run. Just download the SlidesAI extension and start creating slides on your desktop as well as on your phone.

Save Time and Effortlessly Create Presentations with SlidesAI

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Public speaking quotes: funny, inspiring insights for your presentation.


June 2, 2014

by Andy Saks

Over many years as a professional presenter and speaker, I’ve accumulated a treasure trove of funny, inspiring, insightful public speaking quotes.

These quotes are near and dear to my heart. They’ve helped me immensely, and helped me help others.

Some date back to biblical times. Others are hot off the Twitter press.

Sometimes I show them in a looping slideshow to warm up an audience before a keynote speech or presentation skills training program.

Other times I peek at them when I need some inspiration myself.

And here they are, for the first time, categorized and alphabetized for your presentation pleasure.

Which quotes make you laugh? Which inspire you? Which rub you the wrong way? Which of your favorites should I add? Which did you use in your presentation? Tell me by sharing your comment at the bottom of the page.


“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than delivering the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

“All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears, of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before the Rotary Club, or the words ‘some assembly required.’” – Dave Barry

“…and from the first moment that I ever walked on stage in front of a darkened auditorium with a couple of hundred people sitting there, I was never afraid, I was never fearful, I didn’t suffer from stage fright, because I felt so safe on that stage. I wasn’t Patrick Stewart, I wasn’t in the environment that frightened me, I was pretending to be someone else, and I liked the other people I pretended to be. So I felt nothing but security for being on stage. And I think that’s what drew me to this strange job of playing make-believe.” — Patrick Stewart

“Feel the fear of public speaking and do it anyway.” – Arvee Robinson

“I was dreading winning. I didn’t even prepare an acceptance speech. I was worried that I would slip up or do something horrible. I was shaking in my seat, putting on a posed smile. Inside I was petrified.” – Leonardo DiCaprio (at the 1998 Academy Awards)

“It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.” – Rob Gilbert

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” – George Jessel

“There are two types of speakers: Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” – Mark Twain


“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, and to sit down and listen.”  – Winston Churchill

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jimi Hendrix

“Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.” – fortune cookie Andy got (really!)

“Nothing calms a person faster than hearing his own ideas repeated back.” – Sandra DeLozier

“One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears, by listening to them.” – Dean Rusk

“Open your ears before you open your mouth; it may surprise your eyes!” – Earl Nightingale

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

“The finest art of communication is not learning how to express your thoughts. It is learning how to draw out the thoughts of another.” – Ted Tripp

“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.” – Jeff Daly

“You can tell if a man is clever by his answers. You can tell if a man is wise by his questions.” – unknown


“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.” -Earl Nightingale

“Say what you mean, mean what you say, just don’t say it mean.” – Nguyen Van Tho

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” – Laurence Peter

“The words you speak today should be soft and tender, for tomorrow you may have to eat them.” – unknown

“Think lovingly, speak lovingly, act lovingly, and every need shall be supplied.” – James Allen

“You have to smile, if you expect anybody to smile back.” – Jonathan Evison


“Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it: To Whom It May Concern.” – Ken Haemer

“In the preaching moment, there is a liminal moment in which is dawns on you standing there that yes, there is something more going on here that I did not anticipate…You feed of the congregation, because black preaching is so dialogical. The affirmation in that dialogue is the place where you locate revelation.” – Dale Andrews (professor, Boston University, and occasional preacher)

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” – @mediatraining

“The goal of effective communication should be for listeners to say ‘Me too!’ versus ‘So what?'” – Jim Rohn

“The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.” – Dale Carnegie

“To communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world, and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

“To sway an audience, you must watch them as you speak.” – C. Kent Wright

“When are you going to understand that if it doesn’t pertain to me, I’m not interested?” – Candace Bergen as Murphy Brown


“Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information.” – Mark Twain

“I understand a fury in your words, but not your words.” – William Shakespeare, Othello

“If we use common words on a great occasion, they are the more striking because they are felt at once to have a particular meaning, like old banners, or everyday clothes, hung up in a sacred place.” – George Eliot

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” – Dianna Booher

“If you can’t state your position in eight words, you don’t have a position. “ – Seth Godin

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” – Jack Kerouac

“Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair-trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.” – James Thurber

“Speak clearly, if you speak at all. Carve every word before you let it fall.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hoffman

“The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter–’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” — Mark Twain

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like cuttlefish squirting out ink.” – George Orwell

“The way something is presented will define the way you react to it.” – Neville Brody

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.” – William Butler Yeats

“Those who run to long words are mainly the unskillful and tasteless; they confuse pomposity with dignity, flaccidity with ease, and bulk with force.” – H.W. Fowler


“A presentation is a chance to share, not an oral exam.” – M.F. Fensholt

“All speaking is public speaking, whether it’s to one person or a thousand.” – Roger Love

“Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Proper words in proper places make the true definition of a style.” – Jonathan Swift

“Speech is power. Speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. It is to bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Through the picture, I see reality. Through the word, I understand it.” – Sven Lidman

“To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.” – Ben Jonson

“Words do two major things: they provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness.” – Jim Rohn

“Words. Words, when spoken out loud for the sake of performance, are music. They have rhythm, and pitch, and timbre, and volume. These are the properties of music, and music has the ability to find us and move us and lift us up in ways that literal meaning can’t.” – Martin Sheen as President Bartlet, The West Wing


“Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself. It’s the only way you can be sure somebody’s listening.” – F.P. Jones

“Every speaker has a mouth, an arrangement rather neat. Sometimes it’s filled with wisdom, sometimes it’s filled with feet.” – Robert Orben

“Light travels faster than sound. That’s why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” – Albert Einstein

“Look your audience straight in the eyes, and begin to talk as if every one of them owed you money.” – Dale Carnegie

“My job is to talk; your job is to listen. If you finish first, please let me know.”  – Harry Herschfield

“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

“Public speaking is very easy.” – Dan Quayle

“Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.” – Slovenian proverb

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it’s taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw


“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” – Mark Twain

“I didn’t lie. I was writing fiction in my mouth.” – Homer Simpson

“Speech is a mirror of the soul. As a man speaks, so is he.” – Publilius Syrus

“Teach the tongue to say ‘I do not know.’” – Maimonides

“When the eyes say one thing, and the tongue another, a practiced man relies on the language of the first.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Humor is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.” – Mary Hirsch

“Humor is treacherous. It can charm, coax, and persuade, but it can also distract, baffle or alienate the audience.” – Eugene Finerman

“I learned at an early age that when I made people laugh, they liked me. This is a lesson I never forgot.” – Art Buchwald

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” – Oscar Wilde

“Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything.” – Herbert Gardner

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” -Mark Twain


“Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” – Charles Dickens

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half of people who have nothing to say and keep saying it.” – Robert Frost

“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

“If all my talents were to be taken from me by some inscrutable providence, and I had to make a choice of keeping but one, I would unhesitatingly ask to keep the power of speaking, because through it, I would quickly recover all the rest.” – Daniel Webster

“The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.” – Edward R. Murrow

“The tongue has the power of life and death.” – Solomon

“The tongue is like a sharp knife. It kills without drawing blood.” – Buddha

“When nobody speaks your name, or even knows it, you, knowing it, must be the first to speak it.” – Marlon Riggs

“Improve your communication skills and you will earn fifty percent more money over your lifetime…In my office you’ll not see the degree I got from the University of Nebraska. You’ll not see the master’s degree I got from Columbia. But you’ll see the award certificate I got from the [public] speaking course.” – Warren Buffett


“Between your brain and your mouth (or your fingers) is magic: your power to choose what you say next. Use that magic.” – Chris Brogan

“Oratory should raise your heart rate. Oratory should blow the doors off the place.” – Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn, The West Wing

“The difference between a good speech and a great speech is the energy with which the audience comes to their feet at the end. Is it polite? Is it a chore? Are they standing up because their boss just stood up? No. You want it to come from their socks.” – Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn, The West Wing

“The world is made up of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.” – Terence McKenna

“The world is waiting for your words.” – Arvee Robinson

“Your words can make you rich” – Dr. Donald Moine


“He who fails to please in his salutation and address is at once rejected, and never obtains an opportunity of showing his latest excellences or essential qualities.” – Samuel Johnson

“You had me at ‘Hello.’” – Renee Zellweger as Dorothy Boyd in Jerry Maguire


“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.” – Jim Rohn 

“I don’t like to hear cut-and-dried sermons. When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees!” – Abraham Lincoln

“It doesn’t matter how elegant the argument or inspiring the prose, a presentation won’t move anyone if the presenter isn’t visibly feeling what they are saying.” – John Neffinger, KNP Communications

“Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered pot holder.” – Raymond Chandler

“The best speeches come from the heart and reflect your passion. Speak as if your life depended on it.” – Arvee Robinson

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carol Buchner

“When genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” – D.H. Lawrence

“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” – John Ford

“You cannot speak that which you do not know. You cannot share that which you do not feel.” – Jim Rohn


“A designer knows he or she has achieved perfection, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Nolan Haims

“If God is in the details, then the Devil is in PowerPoint.” – @AngryPaulRand

“The more strikingly visual your presentation is, the more people will remember it. And more importantly, they will remember you.” – Paul Arden


“All Abe Lincoln needed was a pencil and paper to make his speech at Gettysburg.” – @TipsForSpeakers

“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Communication works for those who work at it.” – John Powell

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

“If you wing it when speaking, you’ll get wing it results.” – Arvee Robinson

“It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

“Let he who would be moved to convince others be first moved to convince himself.” – T. Carlyle

“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills, so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.” – Jim Rohn


“Good listeners generally make more sales than good talkers.” – B.C. Holwick

“He that has no silver in his purse should have silver on his tongue.” – Thomas Fuller

“If you can’t say it, you can’t sell it!” – Arvee Robinson

“Samson killed a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass. That many sales are killed every day with exactly the same weapon.” – unknown

“The single most important tool in selling is being able to communicate effectively.” – Dan Brent Burt


“It’s the space you put between the notes that make the music.” – Massimo Vignelli

“Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.” – Dionysius of Halicarnassus

“Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.” – cowboy saying

“Speak only if you can improve upon silence.” – unknown

“Talking is like playing the harp; there is as much in laying the hand on the strings to stop their vibrations as in twanging them to bring out their music.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“The most precious things in speech are pauses.” – Ralph Richardson

“Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln


“So much is said with the electricity of the eyes, the intensity of a whisper. Less is more.” – Elizabeth Taylor

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the  smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia

“Your smile is a messenger of your goodwill.” – Dale Carnegie


“A fool uttereth all his mind.” – Proverbs 29:11

“A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” – William Strunk, Jr.

“A speech is like a love affair. Any fool can start one, but it requires considerable skill to end it.” – unknown

“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” – Franklin Roosevelt

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing [more] to say, refrains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” – George Eliot

“For effective communication, use brevity. Jesus said, ‘Follow me.’ Now that’s brief!” – Jim Rohn

“He who talks more is sooner exhausted.” – Lao Tzu

“If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.” – Dennis Roth

“If you want me to speak for an hour, I am ready today. If you want me to speak for just a few minutes, it will take me a few weeks to prepare.” – Mark Twain

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what other men say in whole books.” – Nietzsche

“It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.” – Robert Southey

“It’s better to say nothing than spend 1,000 words or an hour speech saying nothing. Get to the point.” – Richard Branson

“It’s quite simple: say what you have to say and when you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending, sit down.” – Winston Churchill

“Make sure you have stopped speaking before your audience has stopped listening.” – Dorothy Sarnoff

“Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink.” – Martin Lomasney

“Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary.” – Evan Esar

“The best speech has a good beginning and a good ending – and has them close together.” – unknown

“The best way to make a good speech is to have a good beginning and a good ending – and have them close together.” – unknown

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

“Think all you speak, but speak not all you think. Thoughts are your own; your words are so no more.” – Patrick Delany

“To make a speech immortal, you don’t have to make it everlasting.” – unknown

“What is powerful is when what you say is just the tip of the iceberg of what you know.” – Jim Rohn


“Every story has its time to be told.” – Sekou Sundiata

“Stories open the hearts of your listeners, and then their wallets.” – Arvee Robinson


“Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.” – Baltasa

“One deed is worth a thousand speeches.” – American proverb

“People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.” – unknown

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

“Words may show a man’s wit, but actions, his meaning. “ – Benjamin Franklin


Andy Saks, Spark Presentations

Spark owner and speaking quote compiler Andy Saks

Spark Presentations is a private company founded in 1998 that provides presentation skills training and speech coaching for executives, salespeople, marketers and other businesspeople, plus booth staff training for trade show exhibitors.

Spark also books professional presenters and public speakers to represent its clients at high-profile events, in roles like keynote speaker, trade show booth presenter, master of ceremonies (emcee) and auctioneer, as well as on camera talent and voice talent.

Spark’s client list includes large corporations like AT&T, Best Buy, Covidien, FedEx, Hyundai, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Owens-Corning, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Volvo; high-tech industry players like AMD, Atrion, Citrix, Gigamon, and Symantec; service organizations like Vistage, 1nService and NERCOMP; and New England institutions like Community Rowing and the Boston Jewish Film Festival.

Spark’s owner, Andy Saks, is also the author of The Presentation Playbook Series: Be a Most Valuable Presenter (MVP) , a three-volume series of books that help businesspeople master common presentation situations by building and running speaking “plays” like a coach or player calls a key play in a game. Volume 1 is available now in print and PDF formats on Spark’s website and at these online retailers and formats:  Amazon print , Amazon Kindle , Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble print and Nook .

For questions, quotes or orders, contact Andy Saks at 781-454-7600, email or Spark’s Contact page .

Posted in: Sparky Says: Presentation & Public Speaking Tips | 1 Comment

Tags: public speaking tips

One comment

by Melissa Johnson | August 2, 2017 at 9:45 am

Good stuff!

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Blog > How to start a presentation successfully + Free slides template

How to start a presentation successfully + Free slides template

04.08.2022   •  #powerpoint #template.

The introduction of a presentation is of enormous importance. The first slide of your presentation decides whether you can capture the attention of your audience. A good and structured design is the key in a presentation. Templates are available for all kinds of occasions and types of presentations that cost little or are even free. An extraordinary design of the title slide stands out and makes your presentation special. This shows that you have spent time and effort on the design. It's important to find the appropriate design for your presentation.

In this blog post, you will learn everything about a successful presentation introduction. In addition, we have created a template with welcome slides for you, which you can download for free.

But not only the visual design of your presentation is important, also the linguistic presentation matters. Have you ever thought about how to start your presentation so that you immediately raise the attention of your audience? Here are 8 tips for a successful presentation introduction to make your presentation a memorable one.

Introduce yourself

Attract attention.

A very helpful concept is the so-called AIDA formula. AIDA means Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Ask questions

A popular way to start a presentation is to ask questions. Rhetorical questions and "what if" questions are always well received because they make you think. There are 6 different types of questions that will spice up your presentation:

Show empathy

Arouse curiosity, conduct polls, use a visual background, related articles, about the author.

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Manuscript speech.

For a manuscript speech, the speaker has an entire manuscript to read from. The benefit is that, as every single word is scripted, no important parts will be missed. However, speeches that are fully written down often seem unnatural and may bore the audience.

Hybrid Audience

A mix between in-person and virtual participants for an event or a lecture is called a hybrid audience. Working with a hybrid audience may be challenging, as it requires the presenter to find ways to engage both the live and the virtual audience.

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How to Start a Presentation (+ Useful Phrases)

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Table of Contents

Knowing how to start a presentation is a crucial skill in today’s professional landscape.

After all, many office workers are called on to prepare a presentation at some point during their careers.

And, of course, many people are looking to share their expertise through workshops and lectures.

With that in mind, we wanted to dedicate an article to learning about the best ways to deliver an impactful presentation opening.

So, whether you’re currently struggling to come up with introductory lines for a presentation, or you have a more passive interest in this subject — you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll:

  • Share expert tips for preparing the best opening lines for any type of professional presentation ,
  • Offer some valuable examples and specific phrases you can use, and even
  • Analyze the way professional speakers approach their presentations.

But first, let’s talk about why having a good introduction is such a crucial part of any presentation.


Why does having a good introduction to a presentation matter?

If you’ve ever had to prepare an address, you probably understand the importance of having an impactful introduction to a presentation.

If the body of a speech contains most of the information you want to share with the audience and the conclusion allows you to invite the audience to take action — the introduction is how you get them to listen to you in the first place.

In other words, a presentation is a motivated sequence — a method of persuasion with 5 distinct steps:

  • Attention — wherein the speaker introduces the problem the listeners are having in an interesting manner. In the format of a presentation, this step is the introduction .
  • Need — the speaker explains how the problem affects the listeners and backs up their claims. This step corresponds with the body of a presentation , along with the following two.
  • Satisfaction — the speaker offers a solution and shows how it will alleviate the concern they have previously identified.
  • Visualization — the speaker describes precisely what will happen if the listeners choose to implement their solution. Sometimes, they also describe what will happen if their solution is not implemented. This concludes the body of the presentation.
  • Action — the speaker directs the listeners with a call to action, explaining what they can do in response to their presentation. This step represents the conclusion of a presentation.

Even though this framework was developed in the 1930s, it’s still a useful tool for people who want to improve their presenting skills.

A visual representation of a motivated sequence, a 5-step method of persuasion developed by psychologist Alan Monroe

What do professional speakers have to say about the importance of opening a presentation effectively?

For more insight into the importance of starting a presentation with a bang, we turned to professional speakers and communication experts.

We put the question to Mark Beal , Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Communication, at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. Here’s what he had to say:


“It is critically important to engage your audience immediately at the start of a presentation in a high-energy manner, or you could lose them to their mobile phone or laptop and you may never get them back.”

Speaker, author, communication skills trainer, and editorial producer at CNN, Nadia Bilchik , added:

nadia bilchik

“The beginning of your presentation is your prime real estate. It’s when your audience decides if you are worth paying attention to or not.”

So, in addition to capturing the audience’s attention , your introduction also needs to establish your authority .

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Having said that, let’s talk about the specific steps you need to take before you begin presenting to make your presentation opening as memorable as it can be.

How to prepare the best opening for a presentation

Before we tell you how to start a presentation speech, let’s take a moment to consider the best preparation practices .

Naturally, preparing the introductory lines for your presentation should take place well before the speech itself.

Even so, many novice speakers are still unaware of the different factors that should influence and inform their decisions in this regard.

Luckily, we have managed to boil the results of our extensive research down to the following 3 tips:

  • Take note of the way other people start their presentations ,
  • Understand the goals of an introduction , and
  • Know your audience .

Having said that, let’s see what each of those tips entails.

Tip #1: Watch other speakers’ openers

As Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich , puts it:

“Experience has taught me that the next best thing to being truly great is to emulate the great, by feeling and action, as nearly as possible.”

With that in mind, the best thing you can do before drafting your speech is observe the way others have made theirs.

In this case, you’ll want to focus on the way professional speakers introduce themselves and the subjects of their presentations .

The goal of this exercise is to determine:

  • What makes a good opening statement ,
  • Which openers are generally effective with audiences, and
  • What kinds of introductions you resonate with .

Somewhere in the middle of those categories is where you’ll find the opening lines of your presentation.

For their part, the experts we have contacted seem to agree with this tip.

Nadia Bilchik said:

“I have been speaking and training speaking skills for three decades and I still do a tremendous amount of research and customize each and every presentation. If I am speaking […] about the hybrid workplace, I will Google [the] latest statistics. I will also go onto YouTube to see what other speakers and thought leaders are saying about the subject.”

And Mark Beal mirrored her thoughts:

“I am consistently studying presentations in a quest to be a student who is always learning, evolving, transforming, and innovating my approach to presenting. I closely watch all types of presentations, from TEDx Talks to my former students who return to guest lecture in my university courses.”

Tip #2: Understand the goals of an introduction

According to the other authors of Communicating at Work , an introduction has 5 distinct objectives . It should:

  • Capture the listener’s attention (or, as professional speakers might say, “hook” them),
  • Give them a reason to listen (offer a solution to a personal or professional problem they have),
  • Set the proper tone for the topic and setting (let the audience know whether they’re in for an informative, emotional, or humorous speech),
  • Establish your qualifications (explain why the audience should listen to you , specifically), and
  • Introduce your thesis and preview your presentation (so that the audience knows what to expect in advance).

With those goals in mind, Nadia Bilchik would even say that:

“It’s always best to have someone else introduce you and confirm your credibility.”

That puts the onus of explaining why you deserve to be there on the host of the meeting and allows you to skip that part of the introduction.

However, these 5 objectives are not a checklist you have to follow at all costs.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your presentation, some of them will matter more than others.

Speaking of, there’s one last thing to keep in mind when crafting your presentation opening.

Tip #3: Know your audience

The audience you end up presenting to will affect everything from the way you organize your presentation to your style of delivery — and even the supporting materials you use.

Your presentation’s opening lines are no exception.

In other words, the content and style of your introduction will depend on the size of the group you’re speaking to and its demographic breakdown .

However, perhaps the most important audience attribute you’ll have to keep in mind is its willingness to listen and engage with your message .

In Business Communication: Process & Product , authors Mary Guffey and Dana Loewy have identified 4 types of audiences based on that factor:

  • Friendly — an audience that likes you and cares about your topic,
  • Neutral — an audience that is calm and considers itself objective,
  • Uninterested — an audience full of people with short attention spans (who may or may not be there against their will), and
  • Hostile — an emotional or defensive audience whose goal is to take charge or ridicule the speaker.

Luckily, Guffey and Loewy have also provided some guidance for dealing with each of those kinds of audiences.

How to start a presentation effectively (tips + examples)

It’s the day of your big presentation — time to go big or go home.

Which of the following tips would you incorporate in your presentation opening lines?

  • Exude confidence.
  • Drop the pleasantries.
  • Prove your expertise.
  • Begin with a realistic promise (explain what the audience stands to gain from your presentation).
  • Go for the drama.
  • Fall back on an insightful quote or a pop culture reference.
  • Share an interesting statistic.
  • Ask questions.
  • Relieve tension with a joke or a humorous statement.
  • Use visual tools (like images, videos, or props).

If you haven’t thought about which one of these would help you get your point across effectively — don’t worry.

We’re about to explain each of those tips and provide some illuminating examples and specific phrases you can use when starting a presentation.

Tip #1: Exude confidence

One thing you need to know about starting a presentation is that your work begins the moment you set foot on that stage .

Alternatively, it begins the moment someone passes you the (literal or figurative) mic — if we’re taking into account the presentations that take place on video conferencing platforms.

In any case, you’ll want the audience to see you as someone who knows what they’re talking about . That includes:

  • Making eye contact ,
  • Moving with intention (not fidgeting),
  • Wearing professional attire (or at least appropriate attire for the occasion),
  • Projecting your words , and
  • Showing your confidence through nonverbal cues . 

One of the experts we spoke to, Reesa Woolf , PhD, keynote speaker, bestselling author, and executive speaking coach, would even advise you to rehearse your opener and closer to the point of being able to “deliver them with 100% eye contact.”

For what it’s worth, overpreparing also allows you to appear more confident when presenting , as you’ll be less worried about forgetting parts of your speech.

Then again, a moment of forgetfulness can also be turned into a tool for establishing a commanding presence.

Namely, staying still or being quiet for a moment can make the audience pay closer attention to you.

But, if that’s something you’d like to try, make sure the technique doesn’t clash with the type of audience you’re presenting to .

Tip #2: Drop the pleasantries

Have you ever heard a professional public speaker use one of these phrases?

  • “It’s a pleasure to be here.”
  • “I’m honored to be asked to speak about…”
  • “Today, I’m going to talk about…”

The chances of a professional using these phrases are pretty slim — so why would you?

Well, there’s nothing wrong with following a traditional format to introduce yourself . 

However, you’ll have to admit that the sentences we have listed above don’t pack the same punch as some of the other presentation opening lines we have included in this article.

Keynote speaker, Forbes contributor, career change consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch® podcast, Joseph Liu , recommends avoiding greetings altogether .


“While I do say hello, rather than starting with drawn-out greetings, I recommend diving right into the presentation with a hook so your audience immediately switches on to the content you’re about to present.”

Speaker, bestselling author, and award-winning accountant, Tatiana Tsoir , notes:

tatiana tsoir

“People’s attention span is 20 minutes max, which is why TEDx is capped at 18 min. Also, people generally remember the beginning and the end, so make sure those are strong [and] get to the point fast.”

So, instead of wasting time on small talk, use an opener that will get your audience’s attention as quickly as possible.

💡 Pumble pro tip

Even though the examples we have listed would be considered a weak way to start a speech, some of them are ideal for starting a business meeting. If you want to know some other expressions that might come in handy in that kind of setting, check out this article:

  • 120 Useful English phrases for business meetings

Tip #3: Prove your expertise

As we have established, starting a presentation with a traditional introduction may not be the best way to get the audience’s attention.

Still, you’ll have to establish your credibility at some point — so we might as well illustrate how to do so properly.

Of course, if you’re a teacher or an educator in broader terms, you probably won’t have to prove your expertise to your audience.

However, if you’re tasked with presenting in front of neutral or hostile audiences, you’ll want to establish your qualifications as soon as possible.

If you can’t get someone else to introduce you and establish your credibility before you start your presentation, we suggest hooking the audience first and then introducing yourself right before you head into the main part of the speech.

Phrases you can use to establish your credibility

We have come up with 3 imaginary presentation scenarios to help illustrate our points throughout this guide.

Here’s how our speakers might introduce themselves:

“Hello, everyone. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Nick Mulder, the head of the security department. I’m here to talk to you about phishing.”
“My name is Joan Miller. As someone with over four decades of experience in marketing, I’m uniquely qualified to talk to you about how artificial intelligence is changing the future of the industry.”
“I’m Milo Green — you probably know me as being the founder of Green & Co. As someone who’s had a hand in running a successful business for over two decades, I’m here to explain how my company’s employee retention rate has never fallen below 85% in a single year.”
If these speakers started with a hook rather than an introduction, the sentences introducing the subject of their presentations would be excessive.

Tip #4: Begin with a realistic promise

So far, there’s been a lot of discussion about “hooks” in this article and not many specific examples of phrases that might hook an audience — let’s change that.

The first type of hook you might want to master, especially for professional presentations, is the “promise.”

One of the experts we have spoken to, Reesa Wolf, uses that very method:

Reesa Woolf PhD

“Begin with a brief statement about the benefits of listening to [your] message. You can give an example of a company or person like them that had the issue they have and how these ideas solved it, but it still must be brief.”

In other words, start by giving them a preview of the knowledge they’ll have by the time you finish your presentation.

This method of starting a presentation is a great way to:

  • Show that you’re in tune with the listeners’ needs, concerns, and interests ,
  • Offer a solution to a problem the audience might have , or
  • Keep the audience interested throughout your presentation .

Ultimately, audiences are self-interested — they will listen to you if you explain what’s in it for them.

Usually, that will require you to point out a problem they are having or an opportunity they’re not taking advantage of.

Phrases you can use to offer a realistic promise

To put this tip in perspective, let’s hear from our imaginary presenters:

“By the end of my talk, you’ll be able to spot phishing emails and understand the steps you need to take when you do.”
“My presentation will alleviate any worries you might have about the ways the marketing sector will need to adapt to the AI revolution.”
“During this talk, you’ll learn how your company can improve its relationship with its employees and boost its retention rate.”

Tip #5: Go for the drama

One thing you should note as you are writing your presentation opening is that the first words you say will set the tone for the rest of your speech .

If offering a realistic promise to your audience suits your presentation subject — by all means, do so.

However, if you’d like to induce excitement and keep your audience’s mood elevated throughout your presentation, you might want to go for a more dramatic entrance instead.

Namely, you could start with:

  • A fun fact,
  • A startling statement, or
  • An emotionally moving story.

Many speakers rely on these kinds of openers to establish the central theme of their presentation naturally .

After all, this method can make the speaker look more approachable and relatable , particularly if their opening line references other people (e.g. “the other day, I met someone/a coworker told me…” ).

One example of this technique comes from author, entrepreneur, and certified fraud examiner, Pamela Meyer, who famously started her TED Talk by pointing to an audience member and saying:

“Okay, now, I don’t want to alarm anybody in this room, but it’s just come to my attention that the person to your right is a liar. Also, the person to your left is a liar! Also, the person sitting in your very seat is a liar.”

The combination of starting her speech with such a shocking statement and pointing out a specific audience member makes Meyer’s TED Talk an iconic one in our books!

Phrases you can use for a dramatic opening

Now, let’s see how our imaginary speakers would apply this tip:

“1,270,883! What do you think that number signifies? If you guessed ‘the number of phishing attacks recorded in the third quarter of 2022’ — you’d be right! We have the Anti-Phishing Working Group to thank for that disturbing piece of trivia.”
“Artificial intelligence is coming for our jobs! At least, according to Chat GPT and Business Insider , people working in tech, media, law, and many other industries might want to look elsewhere for employment in the coming years.”
“When I first started my company, I did it with about 20 of my most trusted friends and advisers. I’m happy to report that all but two are still working for Green & Co. — and those two are only absent because they’ve started their own successful ventures! In any case, my wish to surround myself with high-quality people has manifested itself in the company’s high employee retention rates. Today, I’m going to tell you about how I created an environment that makes employees want to stick around.”

Tip #6: Fall back on a quote or a pop culture reference

When in doubt, you could always start the introduction to your presentation with a quote.

As long as you don’t overuse other peoples’ words in your speeches, quotations are a completely legitimate and convenient tool for introducing the topic you’ll be discussing.

Aside from being a tried and true method of getting people’s attention without having to string together a perfect sentence on your own, quoting a particularly impressive individual is a good way to “borrow” their authority .

However, that can also be a double-edged sword , since it can also give you the individual’s notoriety. So, make sure you know whose words you’re echoing.

Of course, some people would advise you to avoid quotes altogether.

Assistant Professor of Rhetorical Communication at the State University of New York, Dr. Lee M. Pierce , cautions against starting your presentation “with quotes or long personal stories.”

Doing so might bore the audience.

Then again, Dr. Pierce also enjoys using pop culture references as openers, saying:

lee m pierce

“By choosing a pop culture reference that most of your audience gets, you build instant rapport and have something you can use to ease them into your presentation material.”

So, perhaps there’s still a way to work a quote into your presentation, as long as it fits the mood you’re trying to establish.

If your presentation happens to be about team communication or collaboration, you may find the perfect quote to use in your introduction in one of these articles:

  • 45+ Best team communication quotes  
  • 80+ Best teamwork quotes that will inspire team collaboration

Phrases you can use when you’re opening with a quote

So, how would our three fictional speakers incorporate quotations in their opening lines? Let’s find out.

“According to Harper Reed, entrepreneur and Chief Technology Officer for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, ‘Very smart people are often tricked by hackers, by phishing.’ So it’s not about being smart. It’s about being smarter than a hacker.’ And I’m here to help you get there.”
“Stephen Hawking once said that ‘Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately,’ he said, ‘it might also be the last, unless we know how to avoid the risks.’ I’m here to alleviate your concerns about those risks.”
“When I was developing my management style, I often referred back to one particular quote by Max DePree, founder of Herman Miller. He said, ‘The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.’ That sentiment clarified my function for me — even though I was the CEO of my company, I was primarily there to help my employees.”

If you want to make sure your audience understands what you’re talking about, you could also show the quote on the first slide of your presentation.

Tip #7: Share an interesting statistic

Using relevant, interesting statistics is another great way to introduce the topic of your presentation.

This tip could also be an excellent tool for establishing your qualifications, if you decide to share a statistic that proves the efficacy of the solution you’re presenting.

Just keep in mind that people tend to trust third-party sources more than a potentially unverifiable statistic coming from your organization’s internal research.

Phrases you can use to introduce your presentation with a statistic

Let’s see how our three presenters might incorporate this tip.

“According to APWG, the number of wire transfer Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks increased by 59% in the third quarter of 2022.”
“Netflix took 3.5 years to reach a million users. Facebook took 10 months. ChatGPT, which has been dubbed the best AI chatbot ever released by New York Times, reached its first million users in only 5 days. By January 2023, over 100 million people had used the service.”
“According to the 2022 Workplace Learning Report from LinkedIn Learning, companies that enable their employees to advance internally retain employees for an average of 5.4 years. That’s nearly twice as long as companies that struggle to provide opportunities for internal mobility, where the average retention span is 2.9 years.”

And, if you wanted to go the extra mile, you could also represent the statistics you’re talking about with a visual element.

A presentation slide with a visual breakdown of the second example

Tip #8: Ask questions

Once you start researching public speakers, you’ll find that many of them engage their audience by asking questions .

It goes back to the concept of “hooking” your audience. According to Joseph Liu:

“The best way to start a presentation is with a hook. For example, ask a question. Invite people to do something. Have your audience imagine a situation. Or, surprise them with an interesting fact.”

Indeed, most of the experts we have spoken to would confirm that questions are the best tool for increasing audience participation . As Nadia Bilchik would say:

“ I like to ask my audience a question. […] the key is to invite participation from the start. ”

With that in mind, there are 2 types of questions you can use, depending on the situation:

  • Direct questions require answers from the audience. Speakers might ask for a show of hands or use a polling tool that allows people to stay anonymous while also showing the results for everyone to see.
  • Rhetorical questions are about asking the audience to envision a scenario that allows you to introduce the topic of the presentation. These sometimes have a “What if” construction.

Either way, the questions should prompt the audience to start thinking about the subject of your lecture. 

Questions you might use to open a presentation

Our resident phishing expert might ask his audience one of the following questions:

“How do you protect your company from phishing attacks?”
“Let’s see a show of hands — how many of you know what phishing is?”
“Has anyone here fallen prey to a phishing attack?”

Joan Miller, the digital marketer we have envisioned, might ask:

“Who here is already using AI to conduct their business?”
“Will your company survive the AI revolution?”
“Would you rather incorporate AI into your marketing strategy or continue doing business as usual? Think carefully about this question — and use the link I’m about to send you to tell me your answers. By the end of my presentation, I’ll run this question by you again, and we’ll see how the results of the poll have changed.”

Joan Miller sent an anonymous poll link on Pumble, the business messaging app

Lastly, our imaginary CEO might ask his audience:

“Does your company’s employee retention rate matter?”
“How are you making your company a desirable place to work?”
”Can anyone here tell me their company’s employee retention rate?”

Tip #9: Relieve tension with a humorous statement

If you sense that your audience isn’t in the mood to take in the kind of presentation you have prepared, you can prime them for it with humor.

Cracking a joke at the top of your presentation sets the scene for a lighthearted conversation and makes you appear confident (even if you’re not). Additionally, a well-placed joke can:

  • Get the audience interested ,
  • Make a point about the topic of your presentation , and
  • Increase your likeability .

But, humor is an art form — and not everyone has the talent and skill to execute this tip effectively. If it doesn’t come naturally, there’s no need to force it.

When in doubt, take a page out of the comedian’s playbook and run your opening joke by a friend or, better yet, a more neutral acquaintance.

Of course, even if your joke works on them, you can’t always account for cultural or even professional differences that might prevent some people in the audience from getting it.

Jokes for opening a presentation

The 3 speakers we have imagined might use the following jokes to kick off their presentations:

“Can anyone tell me a hacker’s favorite season? Phishing season, of course! Unfortunately, in real life, phishing season is more of a year-round kind of thing.”
“Why are people so nice to AI? Because it’s self-conscious! Just kidding. For now… Actually, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that AI does seem to be gaining traction, particularly in the marketing industry. But, the good news is that I’m here to tell you how to navigate that situation.”
“Did you know that staff retention is more likely to be improved by offering better working conditions than by chaining employees to their desks? Much to think about!”

A presentation slide using a stock photo to illustrate the speaker’s joke

Most of these examples would pair wonderfully with a visual element — which brings us to our final tip!

Tip #10: Use visual tools

Different speakers have different approaches when it comes to the visual aspects of their presentations.

Some rely on their speech to get most of the information across. Yet, others prefer to make their presentation slides a more integral part of their presentation.

We imagine Joseph Liu would sort himself into the latter group:

“I tend to keep my presentations as visual as possible, relying less on quotes and more on imagery.”

If you decide to let visuals do some of the heavy lifting for your presentation, there are several ways to incorporate them. Namely, you could:

  • Use images in your presentation slides,
  • Invite the audience to watch a video before the presentation,
  • Hand out printed materials ,
  • Show data charts , and
  • Bring out a physical prop .

The type of visuals you end up using will depend on the type of presentation you’re giving.

Either way, you’ll want to become familiar with different elements of visual communication (such as colors, shapes, fonts, and layouts) if you want to make your presentation truly memorable.

Visual communication is one of 4 types of communication. If you’re curious about what the other 3 types of communication are and how we use them in our everyday lives, check out the following article:

  • Types of communication

Examples of visual tools opening a presentation

Going back to our 3 speakers, let’s see how they might incorporate visual elements into their presentation introductions.

“According to APWG, these are the most targeted industries for phishing scams in the third quarter of 2022.”

A presentation slide showcasing phishing statistics in the form of a pie chart

“The following demonstration of AI’s capabilities might change some of your outlooks on the future of marketing. I have shared my computer screen with you all, so let’s take a moment to see where this tech is at right now through a demonstration of the existing software.”
“Before I start my presentation, let’s look at a video showcasing the importance of having a high employee retention rate.”

You could also combine this tip with the others on our list , by saying something like:

  • “Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this picture?” thus, combining a visual opener with a question, or
  • “What do you think the number on the screen behind me signifies? If you guessed ‘the number of phishing attacks recorded in the third quarter of 2022’ — you must be psychic!” as a spin on an example we used to illustrate tip #5.

Putting the tips into practice

Having concluded our list of tips, we wanted to see how the experts we have spoken to have put them into practice.

So, let’s start with the way they conceptualize and write their presentation starting lines.

Step #1: Draft your speech

Every memorable presentation starts with a written copy of everything you want to say.

According to Tatiana Tsoir:

“Developing a speech is a craft. I generally work first on who the audience is , then my core message I want them to walk away with, then the outline of the speech : how and when I introduce the main idea, and how I make a case for it and reiterate it throughout.”

Ultimately, the best time to write your presentation introduction would be once you have a clear idea of everything you want to say in the body and conclusion of your speech.

Even so, sticking to this advice won’t make you a better speaker immediately.

Instead, our experts have stressed that the only way to get better at presenting is through practice and repetition .

Take it from Tatiana:

“With public impactful speaking you don’t rise to the occasion, you fall back on training and practice.”

Step #2: Get right to the point

As you are drafting your presentation introduction, keep in mind that the audience is already waiting for you to get to the point.

When in doubt, follow Reesa Woolf’s formula for starting a presentation:

“Open with the attention-catching statement/story/quotation. Once they look at you, say your name and the parts of your experience and credentials that THEY would be most impressed by, at most 3 things about you.”

After delivering your opener and introducing yourself, you’ll want to quickly transition into the main part of your presentation.

Step #3: Invite audience participation

As we have previously mentioned, many of the experts we have contacted stressed the importance of increasing audience engagement.

Knowing your audience is a big part of that equation, as Dr. Lee M. Pierce would testify:

“Presentations should take advantage of what makes them unique — having an audience. Engage them, [and] introduce yourself. Just don’t start with a question right away — that’s asking too much too soon.”

Then again, many of the experts we have spoken to have said that asking questions is a good way to invite audience participation.

For example, Nadia Bilchik would even engage her audiences on a more physical level:

“I like to ask my audience a thought-provoking question. This gets them from passive to active mode. I also always get my audience to stand up and do a breathing exercise.”

Nadia also provided us with an example of an audience interaction she might use in the introduction of her speaking engagements. For example, she might ask the audience:

“ How do you rate your ability to present information in a concise, clear, and confident manner? High, medium, or low?”

After receiving her answers by a show of hands or even an online poll, she connects the response to the topic of her presentation by stating:

“Wherever you are on the spectrum, in the next X minutes, I will share tips and techniques to ensure you have a greater impact every time you communicate to an audience of one or 100!”

That’s a textbook opener you can use to introduce the topics of your own presentation, too!

Step #4: Put it all together

Remember, nothing is stopping you from combining the tips we have mentioned throughout this guide to create a presentation introduction that is wholly unique to you.

If you’re unsure how to do that, let’s analyze a professional speaker’s technique.

Mark Beal told us about a presentation opening he’s created for his lectures:

“I start each of my Gen Z keynote presentations by physically walking off the stage and into the audience and asking a series of Gen Z trivia questions. 

For those who answer the questions directly, I reward them with a copy of my latest Gen Z book. By taking this proactive approach, I physically engage the audience immediately not from the podium but in their seats. 

My presentation instantly transforms from a one-way monologue into a two-way conversation and the audience begins to learn about my topic, Gen Z, in a fun and informative way.”

Can you connect the strategies Mark has used with the tips we have discussed? Let’s list them:

  • Walking off the stage adds an element of drama and establishes a commanding presence,
  • Asking questions engages the audience right off the bat,
  • Rewarding the audience with a book promotes engagement throughout the presentation, and
  • The books themselves are both an interesting prop and proof of Beal’s qualifications.

When you start researching famous speakers to prepare for your presentation, try dissecting the strategies they’re using.

Final thoughts: A checklist for starting a presentation effectively

Learning how to start a presentation is no easy feat.

After all, how would you go about checking your work if you don’t have an experienced presenter to help you?

Well, one way to check your introduction would be to perform a quick self-assessment based on the goals we have talked about in this article.

Namely, once you have finalized your presentation opening, answer the following questions . Does your introduction:

  • Capture the audience’s attention?
  • Give the audience reasons to listen?
  • Set an appropriate tone?
  • Establish your qualifications (if necessary)?
  • Introduce your thesis and preview the content?

If your introduction doesn’t meet one of these ‘requirements,’ consider whether it can be improved.

And, remember, as Joseph Liu would say:

“The best way you can get better at public speaking is to keep doing it again and again. With more practice, you’ll get more comfortable and confident with it.”

So, don’t be discouraged if your presentation isn’t a home run. Instead, think of it as a learning opportunity for future speaking engagements.

✉️ Have you had a chance to use any of the tips we have shared in this article? How did that work out for you? Which ones would you like to use in the future?

Let us know at blogfeedback@pumble .com and we may include your answers in this or future posts. And, if you liked this blog post and found it useful, share it with someone who might benefit from it.

Secure, real-time communication for professionals.


Olga Milicevic is a communication researcher and author dedicated to making your professional life a bit easier. She believes that everyone should have the tools necessary to respond to their coworkers’ requests and communicate their own professional needs clearly and kindly.

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    Design quotes for presentations. "Good design begins with honesty, asks tough questions, comes from collaboration and from trusting your intuition.". "The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living. The assumption is that somewhere, hidden, is a better way of doing things.".

  8. Best Opening Quotes For Speeches & Presentations

    Happy Opening Quotes. Happy quotes are a great way to start when the event is light and positive - or you want it to become so: 72 Short Happy Quotes To Brighten Your Day. True Happiness Quotes & Sayings. 32 'Life Is Short, Be Happy' Quotes; Just A Little Reminder!

  9. 50 Powerful Quotes To Start Your Presentation

    Hence, when you're looking to follow suit and start your later presentation strong to a powerful quote, we've received you cover. Here, we composed a list of 50 quotes that you can uses to boost your next show. 50 Powerful Quotes To Start Your Presentation: 1) " The secret of getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain

  10. 40 Inspiring Quotes for Your Academic Presentations!

    3. Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction. 4. Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots. 5. Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. 6.

  11. 19 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Create An Amazing Presentation

    Sir Winston Churchill. "The brain doesn't pay attention to boring things." - John Medina. "Performance is not about getting your act together, but about opening up to the energy of the audience ...

  12. Top 10 quotes for your next business presentation

    So, to summarize, there are three main rules to follow when choosing a quote: it must be short, clear and relevant. How to use quotes in a presentation. The best technique to establish your credibility in a business presentation is to start this presentation with a quote. By placing a quote at the beginning helps to attract the attention of ...

  13. 19 Great Quotes to Inspire You to Better Presenting

    Dianna Booher. 5) "The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.". Lilly Walters. 6) "If you don't know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.". Harvey Diamond. 7) "Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.".

  14. 15+ Best Business Presentation Tips: Quotes From the Experts (For Great

    The word "presentation" usually evokes images of someone projecting a slideshow on a screen, covered with words, charts, and pictures. But it's much more than that. A presentation is both form and substance. Content and delivery. Message and medium. Let's break down a great presentation to its most essential elements: 1. Message

  15. How To Start a Presentation: 15 Ways to Set the Stage

    A strong presentation start acts as a beacon, cutting through the noise and instantly capturing the attention of your listeners. With so much content vying for their focus, a captivating opening ensures that your message stands out and resonates with your audience. ... Use a powerful quote. Sometimes, all you need is some wise words to work ...

  16. How to Start a Presentation

    Use a funny quote - You don't have to be funny if you quote someone who is.; Don't crowbar it - If you're finding it difficult to think of a funny way to start your presentation, just leave it. Forced humour is the absolute worst. Flip the script - I mentioned in tip #1 to keep introductions away from the over-flogged 'name, title, topic' formula, but the 'name, title, pun ...

  17. How To Create Attention-Grabbing Presentation Quotes

    Tip 3: Use Lines and Shapes. This tip's easy. All you have to do is add a simple line or shape to spice up your presentation quote. You could: Experiment with dash types to create an unusual effect; Draw attention to the quote by putting a dotted box around it; or. Create a circle or square around the quotes symbol.

  18. 7 Ways to Start a Presentation that Reduce Nervousness

    Here is the list of effective presentation openers. 7 Dynamic Ways to Start Your Next Presentation. Give Your Presentation Summary and Conclusion First. Start the Presentation with a Compelling Story. Use a Startling Statistic to Start a Presentation. A Funny or Motivational Quote or One-Liner. Start with an Opinion Asking Question.

  19. Starting Strong: 14 Ways to Start a Presentation Confidently

    11. Start with a Controversial Statement. Begin with a bold statement that sparks debate. For a presentation on social issues, you might say, "Today, I'm going to challenge our perceptions of equality.". This will not only pique your audience's attention but also allow them to broaden their perspective and participate.

  20. Public speaking quotes: Funny, inspiring presentation insights

    QUOTES ON PREPARATION IN PUBLIC SPEAKING. "All Abe Lincoln needed was a pencil and paper to make his speech at Gettysburg." - @TipsForSpeakers. "All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.". - Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Communication works for those who work at it.". - John Powell.

  21. How to start a presentation successfully (2022)

    Use quotes. Starting the presentation with a simple quote works like a miracle cure to attract attention and captivate the audience. If, on top of that, it's from a person they know, your audience is guaranteed to listen. If you are still looking for a suitable quote, you will find a detailed blog post about Powerful quotes in PowerPoint here.

  22. Quotes For Inspiration Ahead Of Your Next Presentation

    Thomas Jefferson writing to a friend in 1773, said, "The most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do.". The impact and memorability of a presentation is a function ...

  23. How to Start a Presentation (+ Useful Phrases)

    Tip #8: Ask questions. Once you start researching public speakers, you'll find that many of them engage their audience by asking questions. It goes back to the concept of "hooking" your audience. According to Joseph Liu: "The best way to start a presentation is with a hook.

  24. How to Start a Presentation Strong and End Powerfully (2021

    There are several ways to achieve this. The choice will depend on your topic, the circumstances, and your presentation style. The techniques below guide us on how to start a presentation strong. 1. Make a Bold Claim. Everyone knows the "I Have a Dream" speech of Martin Luther King, Jr.