Nine Engaging Ways to Open Your Presentation

You must immediately capture your audience’s attention when you open your presentation. At the beginning, everyone is paying attention to you… and assessing you. Why? They want to know how you are going to present your topic, to see if this information is important to them, and to determine what they can get out of it.

In other words, your audience is waiting for you to engage them, capture their attention, and ensure you are going to make the most of their valuable time. To do that, you must create an opening that meets that challenge.

Last month, I told a story about opening your presentation with pizzazz by… telling a story. This month in my Toward Humanity blog post, I expand on that topic by discussing “Nine Engaging Ways to Open a Presentation”. (Download the PDF.) Each way requires planning, preparation, and practice on your part—this is time extremely well spent (as we shall see in future blog posts).

Could It Be the Documentation?

Customers return perfectly good products. Over $25 billion dollars worth. That’s billion with a ‘B’. That is what it cost companies to deal with customer returns in 2007.

But wait, there’s most bad news. At least two-thirds of those returned products—and up to 85%—were categorized as ‘no trouble found’ by manufacturers. “In other words, the products did not meet the customer’s requirements or expectations, or were perceived as faulty by the customer, yet yielded no detectable fault or problem when tested by the retailer, carrier, or manufacturer.“

That’s the conclusion of an exhaustive report by Accenture: Big Trouble with “No Trouble Found” Returns. Among other findings, this practice “demonstrates that weaknesses in the design, packaging, and documentation of devices can have a major impact on ‘no trouble found’ returns.”

Two solutions: better education programs and improved technical documentation for your products. The result: lower return costs, increased sales revenue, and more satisfied customers.