Building Blocks to Create a Strong Presentation Opening

By Julie M. Hansen

An opening to your sales presentation should have a natural, conversational flow to it; however, it still has some distinct parts. Here are the foundational blocks that put together, form a strong, memorable opening:

  • Hook: A hook in your presentation draws the audience in and gets them interested or curious enough to give you their full attention.

  • Linking phrase: Jumping right into your business reason immediately after your hook can be awkward. A linking phrase helps you transition conversationally as well as clarify what the connection is if it’s not completely obvious to your audience. Here are some examples of linking phrases:

    • “In the same way . . . “

    • “In a similar fashion . . . “

    • “This reminded me of why we’re here today . . . “

    • “How does this apply to your business?”

  • Status quo: Quickly summarize where your prospect is at in regards to their problem or challenge. For example, “You’re currently experiencing a high turnover that’s affecting your bottom line and limiting your ability to expand.”

  • Desired outcome: Segue into where the prospect wants to end up or where you can take them, which will align with your value proposition. For example, “What we’re going to show you today is how we can help you reduce turnover by as much as 50 percent and improve your ability to stay competitive and expand at a profitable rate.”

  • One thing: At the end of your opening tell your audience what that one thing you want them to take away from your presentation is. Doing so provides them with a point of reference so that every time you make a point that validates your one thing, your prospect will have a place to store that information in his brain. You can make it even easier for your prospect to remember by summarizing your one thing into a simple power-bite or catchphrase, thus making it sticky. That’s not nearly as messy or difficult as it sounds.

    Building blocks to a strong opening. [Credit: Illustration by 24Slides]

    Credit: Illustration by 24Slides
    Building blocks to a strong opening.