Presentation starts to avoid

Presentation starts to avoid in other words what not to do in the first minute of your presentation 

As it becomes increasingly difficult for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors a presentation offers a fantastic opportunity to help you and your company stand out.

So in this article I’m sharing presentation starts to avoid

Many presenters though overlook how important the start of their presentation is

During those first 60 seconds or so the audience are already deciding if they could work with you and your company. 

So make sure your presentation start is well planned, well rehearsed and immediately captures the imagination and attention of your audience. 

To help you here are some presentation starts to avoid

Presentation starts to avoid:

1. No excuses or apologies

Far too many presenters start their presentation with an excuse or an apology:

‘I hope you can hear me as I’ve got a bit of a cold’

‘Apologies but I only knew I was doing this yesterday’

‘I’ll aim to keep it short’ (most people who say that overrun on their time)

2.  No rambling

So not this type of opening please:

‘Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak to you on this lovely day when I’m sure many of you would much rather be outside than listening to me..…I’m so pleased that I was given this opportunity and would like to thank everyone who made it possible including…..and wasn’t that a lovely breakfast we enjoyed and isn’t this a great venue….etc…etc…     I think you get the point.

3.  Aren’t we great

So many presenters feel the need to spend the first minute talking about their company and /or themselves – is this really going to grab the attention of your audience? – I think not so don’t do it. Work on the basis that the audience aren’t interested in you or your company only what your product or service or idea will do for them.

4.  Don’t try to be funny….

Most people who start their presentation by trying to be funny usually aren’t, so no jokes or comical observations – you’re not here to do stand up comedy you are here to present an idea or share your expertise etc..

5.  Don’t do a sound test…. tapping on the microphone ……

‘Is it on?’

‘Can you all hear me ok?’

Check this before the audience arrive and trust it is still ok when you start. Top tip: most people who don’t use a microphone thinking they can heard by everyone usually can’t, so if there is a mic use it.

6.  Or fiddle around with the presenting equipment….

Make sure you check all the equipment before the audience arrives so you know how it all works and you are clear about:

  • Where you will be presenting from
  • How the seating will be laid out
  • Where the screen and projector will be
  • Is an audio system available (top tip – use a microphone if one is available – most people who think they can be heard without a microphone are usually wrong!)

For more presentation tips and advice check out my website :

To find out how more about how I can help your teams deliver confident, impactful, memorable and action inducing presentations please visit my Presentation Training page

If your team need inspiring and re-energising  please visit my Sales Training page

Before you book any training or coaching with me it is important for you to be sure that I’m the right person for you or your team so let’s have a 15-20 minute informal no obligation no fee chat on Zoom. Simply click here: Trevor Lee 15 minute meeting

My podcast Better Presentations More Sales features an array of global guests sharing every Monday great presenting and sales advice, tips and ideas.

Check out my book:  ‘12 Business Lessons from Running an Ultra Marathon‘ – all proceeds go to Children’s Hospice South West 

Here are links to the evergreen webinar versions of the presenting and sales skills  sessions I ran in January and February 2023: