I'd like to start out by saying 'thank you' [pause] to all the brothers and sisters that have come here today representing this cause. I have been asked by Mr Itaka and the Tribal Council to speak to you and the members of the press about the injustice that's been brought against us by some government officials' big business.
How many of you out there have heard of alternative engines? Engines that can run on anything from alcohol to garbage or water? Or carburetors that can get hundreds of miles to the gallon? Or electric or magnetic engines that can practically run for ever?
[3:15] And finally, as long as there's profit to be made from the polluting of our earth, companies and individuals will continue to do what they want. We have to force these companies to operate safely and responsibly, and with all our best interests in mind, so that when they don't, we can take back our resources and our hearts and our minds to do what's right.
[3:40] End of speech.
The above is a speech given by Steven Seagal in the closing scene of his 1994 movie "On Deadly Ground".
Everybody needs to make a presentation at some point in time. When you need to do one, remember this basic presentation rule:
First impression lasts
Last impression stays
Whatever in between, people forget
The introduction of a presentation has only one objective, that is, to tell the audience what you are going to tell them.
You have less than a minute to make the first impression that will "help" the audience decide whether to continue listening to you, or wander away to other things on their mental to-do list. To capture attention, one of the most effective ways is to tell them an interesting fact, a piece of insider information, a set of stunning statistics, a bold claim, or anything that is unusual, uncommon or unknown. But relevant to the audience.
In the introduction (and elsewhere in the presentation), establish rapport with the audience by using 3 simple techniques:
1. Ask questions to relate their thoughts to the topic ("How many of you out there have heard of alternative engines?")
2. Give examples that they are familiar with ("Engines that can run on anything from alcohol to garbage or water")
3. Use the loudest statement you can ever make in a speech - PAUSE
Once you have started with an impact, transit into the main body. At this stage, you job is to tell the audience what you want to tell them. The simplest rule to follow here (unfortunately, also one that is most broken) is this:
Make use of visual aids to complement, NOT compete with, what you have to say
In the above movie, a video at the background (visual aid) is perfectly harmonised to support the points made by the speaker (audio). Contrast this with most presentations that use slides after slides of bullet points. Bullet-point slides only compete with the speaker for attention because the audience would be reading the same words that are being spoken at the same time.
By the end of your presentation, you would have provided a lot of information. This is why, at the closing, you need to summarise for the audience what you have already told them. Most importantly, you need to end with a call-to-action – a statement of what you want the audience to do. To take home a point? To act on something? To come back for more? Your objective at the conclusion is to let your audience leave with a sense of closure.
Incidentally, the above video clip is the closing scene of a movie where the speech is presented to leave a lasting impression in the minds of the people who watch it.
When your audience goes back, it is said that they will forget up to 90% of what they hear within one week. The introduction and conclusion are two definite areas that they can vaguely remember to tell their friends and associates. So make your head and tail extraordinary to win half the battle.