The opening and closing of the presentation are the two most important parts. If either of them is weak or wobbly…that’s all the audience will remember. However, the opposite is true as well. If you start strong and finish strong, the audience will walk away with a positive impression overall.
1. The Opening: You want to open your presentation with a hook. It could be a provocative question, quote or statistic. Use something fun to capture their attention and reel them in. Humor can be great if you’re funny. However, if you’re not 100% certain something is funny…don’t do it. A bad joke is a sure-fire way to kill presentation before it starts.
2. The Close: The most important part about the close is knowing when to do it. I’ve seen many good presentations end badly because the presenter didn’t know when to wrap it up. Have a slide at the end of your presentation that is clearly the ‘end slide’ and don’t be afraid to use it. It’s your get-out-of-jail-free card.