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The introduction

The introduction is the point at which the presenter explains the content and purpose of the presentation. This is a vitally important part of your talk as you will need to gain the audience's interest and confidence. Key elements of an effective introduction include:

  • a positive start: "Good afternoon, my name is Adam and ...";
  • a statement of what will be discussed: "I am going to explore ...";
  • a statement of the treatment to be applied to the topic (e.g. to compare, contrast, evaluate, describe): "I will be comparing the four main principles of ...";
  • a statement of the outcomes of the presentation: "I hope this will provide us with ...";
  • a statement of what the audience will need to do (e.g. when they can ask questions or whether or not they will need to take notes): "I will pass round a handout that summarises my presentation before taking questions at the end."

You should aim to deliver your introduction confidently (wait until the audience is quiet before you start speaking) and communicate energy and enthusiasm for your topic.