How to Hook Your Audience with Your Presentation?


First 30 seconds and your character is assumed! The time to hook is brief.

The same is true for your presentation. Trashed or bookmarked – its destiny is decided in the first few slides. How you start and what you offer in those slides is crucial.
What else?
Would they stay with you throughout the journey? Well, it depends on how you steer the wheel in the middle of the presentation.
And the way you end justifies whether it’s worth coming back or not.

How to Hook and Keep Them Hooked?

Of course with your presentation!

Each stage is important – beginning, middle and the end. Here are 3 hooks that you may want to use in your presentations to hook your audience.

1. Open With the Fire – The Beginning

“When you advertise fire-extinguishers, open with the fire”, says David Ogilvy, the father of advertising.


It applies almost everywhere, in all aspects of business. How do you open decides whether your presentation will be read or not.

The idea is – Start Strong.

Begin with a kick-ass headline that immediately grabs attention. Compels readers to click and keep clicking through. So, how do you do that? Here are some ways:
i. Reject what people believe in: That’s the trick. Adopt a contrarian approach. It provokes responses right away – creates curiosity, challenges readers on their tried-and-tested ways of doing things and breaks conventions. Here’re some examples:

  • What You Know about Hiring is Wrong (if you’re creating slides on recruitment and selection)
  • This is Why You Won’t Make Millions (when offering advice on personal finance)
  • Love Apples? A Fool-Proof Way to Showing the Doc the Way to Your Home (when talking about health benefits of apples/fruits)


ii. Talk About Money: The dirty truth. Telling your audience how to make money or what helps earn or save money works. Such topics are perennial favorite of the audience world over. Those who don’t have want to make it. Those who have want it even more.

  • Empty Pockets Won’t Take You Far
  • You’re Missing on the Very Essence of Successful Investing
  • Pay $0 for Your First Subscription
  • 3 Times When You Should Not Wire Money
  • Is Online Shopping Really Cheap?


iii. Offer Value: What readers look for? Solutions to their problems. Offer them what they need and they’ll keep coming back to you. Use a powerful quote; start with shocking statistics; use a picture that tells a gripping story.

  • The Simplest Way to Learn Coding
  • 20 Free Christmas Recipes
  • How to Save on Air Tickets Even During Holiday Season


iv. Keep It Humorous: All you need is a good laugh unless reality sucks you. You get the idea, right? Presentations with humorous starts receive the most shares. Here’re some classic examples:

  • This is Why Men and Women Will Never Stop Fighting
2. Take Control of the Wheel – The Middle


It’s a bumpy ride even on a straight road. But the experience of a rider depends on driver’s skills to a great extent.
Take control of the wheel and steer your readers through.
Here are some tips for keeping them engaged even during this phase:


i. Tell a Story: Human beings are hard-wired to enjoy stories. So, why to unwire? Tell a story. It can be anything from a historic event, a boardroom discussion, a dialogue, an anecdote and a fable. Make sure to tell them what happened, who won, who lost, and what it teaches. Encapsulate the message well.


ii. Ask Questions: It’s the most common way to engage readers. The key here is to ask rhetorical questions at different intervals.

For example – what make Microsoft, Microsoft? Why is that most IT guys want to work for it? What makes Microsoft an employer of choice?

This may sound repetitive but asking rhetorical questions doesn’t let readers stray away from the central theme. It rather stimulates their thought process and provokes them to click to know more.


iii. Deliver a Sound Bite: Don’t forget you need to keep it ‘bite-sized’. Use a catchy punchline or phrase to perk up the audience. For example:

  • Victorious warriors win first and then go to war.
  • However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
  • A fit, healthy body is the best fashion statement.
  • Culture is not as delicious a panacea as it sounds.


iv. Make Assertions: A surefire way to make audience believe in what you say or to illustrate the importance or seriousness of something. Provide facts, statistical figures, results of a research/survey or anything that helps make startling assertions.

3. End – A Beginning or the ‘End’

An ending can be another beginning. Only if you want.
Your presentation ought to have a good ending – leaving readers yearning for more or clicking through your other presentations. So, how do you end it to begin? Here are few tips:
i. What-If Scenario: It makes your readers to ponder over. What-if you continue doing so? What-if you stop doing so? What-if we could make earth a better place to live?


ii. Food for Thought: Give them an idea, issue or situation to ponder. However, remember never give the advice which you’re not following or an idea which you don’t believe in or a situation that you don’t want to do anything about or a problem that you don’t want to solve.

Try and test these ideas and share with us what works for you. Have a great idea on how to create a great presentation? Take to the comments’ section and share with us.

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Shivani Sharma

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