When giving a presentation, your audience welcomes it when you are clear about where you are headed. It’s especially welcome at the start. If they understand
- what you’re about
- what they can expect from you
- what you want of them (your ‘call to action’)
they are more likely to respond well. So pay attention to the language you use. Choose the simplest words possible and be direct. Just in the same way Haydn woke up his audience with his “Surprise Symphony” so you need to wake up your audience with your directness. Fillers such as “I think….” or “You may possibly….” are vague and meaningless. We already assume that these are your thoughts. And undermining what you say by sounding unsure creates uncertainty in us.
Have a look at Mike Consol’s post “The False Starts That Doom Our Sentences”. He talks of the ‘jackrabbit starts’ that overshadow the rest of the presentation with excess verbiage.