The Introduction

Because your presentation should not exceed 18 minutes in total, keep the introduction short, but pack it full of intentional, well planned content. It may be recommendable to memorize the first 90 seconds in order to mitigate losing your train of thought due to stage anxiety.

  1. Begin with a bang, create an inviting, interesting attention-grabber, hook the audience
  2. Name the title of your presentation
  3. Personal introduction. If you are presently unknown to your audience, or parts of your audience, introduce yourself briefly. Keep it short, but detailed enough to let your audience know why you are qualified to talk to them. Make them curious about you, the messenger. Don't forget to add at least one personal detail, you are a mensch, after all. 
  4. Context: if the overall context of your presentation is unknown, offer a few words of orientation. Not too much, leave the details for your main message.
  5. Objective / Intention. State your goal in one complete sentence. Offer this objective verbatim to your audience at this point in your presentation flow. 
  6. Agenda, Outline: Name the main headings of your structure, your outline. In most cases, your outline will comprise no more than 3 headings, or chapters (in no case should you exceed 5 points). If your presentation is very complex, consider dividing it up into multiple, but shorter episodes.
  7. Benefit: State why it will be worth their while listening to you. Your benefit should be change-oriented, that is, if they follow the premise of your message and act upon it, their situation will improve.