How do you capture your audience's attention at the beginning of your presentations? One way is to introduce an analogy for your topic. When I was preparing for a presentation skills workshop last month, I was looking for an analogy for presentations, and I kept coming across, "Presentations are like hamburgers, with the body sandwiched between the introduction and conclusion."
Look at this burger:
Looks pretty good, right? (I'm really hungry now.) But which parts are the most important? The middle? Or the bread?
Of course the answer is the middle. But when it comes to your presentations, the introduction and the conclusion are at least as important as the middle. The introduction is when you get your audience's attention and give them a taste of what they want to hear from you. The conclusion is when you really make sure they are going to remember your message and it's when you give them a call to action: something you want them to think about or do.
A macaroon needs the top and bottom as much as it needs the middle. You can eat only the middle of a burger, but if you eat only the middle of a macaroon, it's not a macaroon anymore, it's just some paste. (Very delicious paste if you've bought your macaroons at Pierre HermÃ© of course.)
So make sure your presentations are macaroons, not burgers.
My blog has changed! If you're looking for my English-practice exercises, they're all still here, just look in the archives.
Catherine: blogging about learning, language, culture, France and more...