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Get Started With Excel: An Introduction to the Basics of Excel Tutorials

Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program used by millions of people around the world. It is a great tool for organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. Whether you are a student, a business professional, or just someone who wants to learn more about Excel, this tutorial will help you get started.

What Is Excel?

Excel is a spreadsheet program developed by Microsoft. It is used to store and manipulate data in the form of tables, charts, and graphs. It can be used for a variety of tasks such as budgeting, forecasting, data analysis, and more. With its powerful features and easy-to-use interface, it has become one of the most popular programs for data analysis and presentation.

Getting Started

The first step in getting started with Excel is to download the program from Microsoft’s website. Once you have installed it on your computer, you can begin exploring its features. There are many tutorials available online that will help you understand how to use the program effectively. Additionally, there are many books and courses available that can provide more in-depth knowledge about Excel’s features and functions.

Learning the Basics

Once you have downloaded and installed Excel on your computer, it’s time to start learning the basics. The best way to do this is by exploring the different tools available in the program. You can start by creating simple spreadsheets with basic formulas and functions such as SUM or AVERAGE. As you become more comfortable with these tools, you can move on to more complex tasks such as creating charts or working with multiple worksheets. Additionally, there are many online tutorials that can help you learn more about specific features of Excel such as pivot tables or VLOOKUP functions.

By taking advantage of all the resources available online, you can quickly become an expert in using Excel for data analysis and presentation purposes. With practice and dedication, you will soon be able to create powerful spreadsheets that will help make your work easier and more efficient.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


conference presentation introduction

How to introduce yourself in a conference presentation (in six simple steps)

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Academic conferences are great occasions for networking. Particularly the start of a conference presentation offers a unique opportunity to introduce yourself to the audience, concisely and effectively.

Why effective introductions during academic conference presentations matter

Presentations at academic conferences are an important part of every academic journey. Conferences provide a platform for you to present your research, receive feedback and establish professional connections.

Thus, while the content of your presentation is certainly important, the networking aspect of academic conferences should not be underestimated.

One key strategy of networking at academic conferences is to prepare a concise and effective introduction of yourself.

A good introduction includes information on who you are, what your research is about, and how people can learn more about you. And of course how they can connect with you.

An effective introduction at the start of your conference presentation will help people remember you. Even more importantly, they should feel invited to get in touch with you. In-person, via email, or on social media. This is how networks are formed, which can have a lasting effect on your career.

Step 1: State your full name, position and your university affiliation

Imagine you are presenting at a conference. It is your turn, and you stand in front of the audience.

Don’t jump straight into the topic of your presentation! Instead, start with the basics. State your name, your position and the university affiliation you have.

Make sure to say your name out loud, even if it is written on your presentation slides. People may not know how to pronounce your name, and it will make it easier for them to address you later.

Step 2: Explain your research area and focus in 2-3 sentences

Next comes the most difficult part: explain your research area and focus. The key is to zoom out a bit from the specific topic of your presentation, to showcase your wider research area and focus.

Explaining your research area in a few sentences is challenging. However, it is essential to keep it short. Think of 2-3 sentences. You do not want to take away precious time from your actual presentation.

Therefore, these 2-3 sentences should be prepared well. You do not want to start rambling.

Step 3: Tell people where they can find out more about you online

Today’s academics are required to have an online presence. This is also true for PhD students.

Your online presence can consist, for instance, of your academic website , or your online university profile. Maybe you also work on a research project that has its own website with information. Whatever you decide to share with your conference audience, make sure that everything is up to date!

Furthermore, it can be useful for your audience to know your ORCID ID to easily access a full list of your publications.

Step 4: Provide your professional social media handles

Not every academic uses social media, and not everyone uses them professionally.

However, if you do, make sure to also point people to – for instance – your Twitter or LinkedIn account.

Step 5: Provide your email address and invite people to reach out

Social media aside, emails remain a key way of communicating in academia. Therefore, make sure to also provide your email address.

Put the actual address on your presentation slides and emphasise that you are happy to connect and receive questions or comments.

Step 6: Emphasize that you are happy to connect and chat after your presentation

Finally, point out that you are happy to connect and chat with people after your presentation. Then, transition to your presentation.

You can of course also decide to include this point at the end of your presentation.

Just don’t assume that people will automatically approach you. Some will, but others won’t. Maybe they are too shy, too hesitant or don’t want to disturb you. Therefore, it is always safer to invite them to approach you.

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Email signatures for PhD students (content, tips and examples)

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Presenting at a conference for the first time 5 must things to do

Presenting at a conference for the first time 5 must things to do

Are you preparing for Presenting at a conference for the first time 5 must things to do. In this article, we will discuss all the essential things you need to know if you are presenting at a conference for the first time.

Presenting in front of an audience is a very difficult task for all of us. It does not matter how much experience you have as a presenter.

Every presenter has some stage of fear to face the audience for the first time. But nothing to worry we will discuss all the aspects in this article only to overcome his very easily.

I believe that you have prepared your slides well and remembered the presentation structure.

You can check enough articles, guides on the internet to make a great presentation slide for your conference. If not comment below or email us, will make a complete tutorial and guide you step by step.

Structuring a presentation, the key stages

Any presenter must follow a presentation structure to make the presentation impressive and communicate the ideas most effectively.

In the case of academic presentations during the conferences, most people sitting in the audience do not concentrate on the presentation.

In such a case as a presenter, you will get demotivated and feel nobody is interested in watching you. So what is the solution?

  • Tips-1: Make your presentation slides interesting with a great opening of your presentation speech.
  • Tips-2:  Make a good slide with animated images and objects.
  • Tips-3: Make your presentation according to the structure and follow a schedule.

Follow this Presentation structure

  • Introduction
  • Purpose of this study/paper
  • Proposed model
  • The procedure for getting the results
  • Limitation of this study
  • Future prospective
  • Conclusion of the study

It will not look good if you miss any of the above points form the presentation.  Make sure that the content inside the slide is clearly visible. Do not copy all the paragraph form your research paper and paste as it is in the PPTs.

Also read: How to become a speaker at conferences

Follow the 10-20-30 Rule for PowerPoint

Guy Kawasaki framed his 10-20-30 Rule for PowerPoint as:

  • 10 slides  are the optimal number of slides to use for a presentation.
  • 20 minutes is the longest amount of time you should speak during the presentation.
  • 30 point font is the smallest font size you should use on your slides while making slides for presentation.

What to wear to an academic conference ?

An academic conference is a place where most of the participants are from academic backgrounds like Graduate Students, Scholars, Professors, etc.

It’s always recommended to wear formal dress and look professional.

  • Avoid any fancy-looking tops, party wear dresses, and clothes.
  • Must not wear any sports shoes, round neck T-shirts and jeans.
  • Must not wear any fancy-looking watches and lots of any kind of ornaments.
  • Do not wear any sunglasses while presenting.

Best way to start a presentation

If you are presenting any paper for the first time then the best option to make yourself comfortable before informing of the audience.

Must read: How to present a paper in seminar 5 must things to do

So you can start with sweat smile at the session chair and audiences. Greetings with “ Good morning all” or “ Good afternoon everyone ” or “ Good evening ” according to the time.

You can start with a “Thank you to the organizers and sponsors for providing an opportunity for presenting my paper at this conference.”

Sample introduction speech for presentation

You can say ”Ladies and gentlemen, Good morning, I am Mr. John White currently perusing my masters from the United States University of technology. I am here to present my research paper “ ddfsdfsf fsdfsdf dffsfdsdf dfsdf”. I would like to thank the organizer and all the sponsors to provide me with an opportunity to present my paper.”

Also read: 8 Tips for presenting a paper at an academic conference

How to conclude a presentation speech?

The concluding part is an important part of the presentation. It creates the maximum impact of your presentation.

You may say like “Thank you for listening to my presentation.”

We hope that you got all the information about the Presenting at a conference for the first time 5 must things to do .

Comment below what was your experience when you presented your paper for the first time at any conference or if you require any help from us.

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How to present a paper in seminar 5 must things to do

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Create a Conference Presentation

Common types of conference presentations.

  • Full paper  - The length of a full paper is variable, usually between 20 and 40 min, and rarely exceeds one hour. A full paper may be followed by question time.
  • Short paper  - This type of conference presentation can be as short as 10 min, and very often it is one in a series of short papers in a 1- or 2-hour session on a particular conference sub-topic or theme, each followed by 10 minutes question time. Timing is crucial as it is common for short paper sessions to be carefully managed by timekeepers who will ‘terminate’ your paper after the allocated time.
  • Workshop  - The emphasis of most workshops is on their practical nature. Their purpose is for participants to experience a strategy, a technique or a practical demonstration, and to have opportunities to question you about the value or workability of what you are presenting.
  • Poster  - You prepare a poster of your work (one or more A1 displays, including diagrams, text, references or visuals). This is displayed in an area of the conference venue. Your poster may be staffed at particular times when you are required to be available to provide further information or answer questions about your poster.
  • Discussion paper -  It is assumed that participants have read the paper. A summary is presented at the beginning of the paper (usually, but not always by the paper presenter), and the session consists mainly of a discussion or defence of the issues, questions and ideas raised in the paper.
  • Panel presentation/discussion  - You are one of several people on a panel discussing a theme/topic related to the conference. Your role is to be an expert in a particular issue, topic, technology, strategy or you represent an institution, department or company. Normally you receive advanced notice of this, but sometimes you can be asked to be a panel member at the conference.
  • Roundtable discussion  - This is a short paper presentation followed by the presenter facilitating/workshopping discussion with participants in groups.

Preparing your conference presentation

There are significant differences between a written paper, essay or report and a conference presentation. The introduction of a conference presentation should be considerably longer than that of a written text. Repetition is vital in a conference presentation. An audience needs to hear information several times and in slightly different forms to understand it, whereas in a written text the reader can refer back if necessary. Informal rather than formal language should be used in an oral conference presentation.

Think of a ‘catchy’ title as most conferences run parallel sessions and your presentation may compete with numerous presentations offered at the same time.

You will need to submit an abstract to the conference committee for your presentation to be accepted. If you have already written your paper, this task should be fairly easy as the abstract is a summary of the paper which is usually around 200–400 words . Ensure the issues, questions, thesis as well as the conclusion findings are clearly stated in the abstract.

In case the paper has not been written yet, prepare the abstract in such a way that you do not commit yourself to details that will not be addressed in the final paper.

Ensure that you follow guidelines set by the conference organizers regarding length, layout, references, etc. Write the paper as you would an essay, a report, or, more and more commonly, a journal article. The latter is particularly important if the conference proceedings are to be published (refereed or non-refereed). Check previous conference proceedings or journals in your field to ensure consistency with style, referencing, etc.

Presenting your conference presentation

When presenting your conference presentation you need to know your answers to the following questions:

  • Is the purpose clearly stated: are you reporting, comparing, convincing, arguing, questioning…?
  • Is the thesis/topic clearly stated: “In this paper, I want to report the findings of recent research which shows that under certain conditions, dolphins can be taught how to read simple text”?
  • Are your main arguments/ideas supported with evidence?
  • Are all the materials relevant to the topic?
  • Have you demonstrated your knowledge of the subject?
  • Is the level of technicality suited to the audience?
  • How do you reply to audience’s questions: long questions, ‘mini papers’ disguised as questions…?

Organise your presentation

Most presentations are organised according to a predictable pattern. They have three main stages: introduction, body and conclusion (i.e. tell them what you are going to say; then say it; then tell them what you have said).

When a presentation does not have these clear sections, it can be very difficult for listeners to follow what is being said.


This is the most crucial part of any presentation. You need to capture the audience’s interest in your topic and establish rapport with them. Your introduction should let the audience know what they are going to hear in the presentation. They need to know what to expect in order to get interested and to be able to follow you. Giving them an outline of your presentation in your introduction enables them to do this.

You need to:

  • capture the audience’s attention with a question, quotation, anecdote, or interesting statistic, etc.
  • main theme or main argument
  • main points you will cover and the order in which you will cover them.

The body of your presentation must be clearly organised with the main points highlighted. One effective technique is to number your ideas. Any idea which is new to your audience needs to be presented simply with supportive evidence or examples which will make it more easily understood. Each important idea should be presented several times in different ways within the body of your presentation. Your audience needs several opportunities to absorb the full meaning and the significance of the most important ideas. It is also important to state the links between your ideas clearly.

The body is where you develop your main ideas/argument, using supporting ideas/evidence. Use techniques that make it easy for the listener to follow your talk:

  • number your ideas: “ There are three main factors... ”
  • arrange your ideas in logical order, such as chronological; cause and effect; problem–solution
  • use transitional devices to help the audience follow the direction of your talk: “ secondly…; another important point is...; on the other hand…; I would now like to move on and look at another aspect of the research.. .”
  • state the main idea
  • refer to experts, provide examples to illustrate the idea
  • provide statistics, facts, tell anecdotes (if time permits)
  • provide case studies, etc.
  • repeat important ideas using different words so the audience has several opportunities to absorb them
  • don’t make the information too dense – remember the audience is listening, not reading!

The conclusion sums up main points. The conclusion should reinforce the central ideas of the presentation and signal a forceful ending. A weak, inconclusive or apologetic closing detracts from a good presentation. You should show in your conclusion that you have covered all the points that you said you would in your introduction. You should also show that you are confident, and that you have communicated effectively.

It is important to have a strong conclusion so the audience is left with a good impression.

  • Summarise the main ideas of your presentation.
  • Don’t introduce any new ideas.
  • Work towards a strong ending – don’t finish abruptly or say ‘That’s all’. Perhaps leave the audience with something to think about.

Presentation Tips

Advance preparation.

The more you know about your audience, the more likely you will be able to give an effective presentation. Try to find out as much as you can about who will be there, what their background is, why they will be coming, and how much they will already know about the topic. Go to the room where you will make your presentation and get a feel of its size, acoustics, seating, etc. If you can, familiarise yourself with the equipment in the room.

Clear pronunciation

Your voice must be clear and distinct. If you know you have difficulty with pronunciation, speak a little more slowly than usual. Use intonation, stress, changes in pace (slow down at important points, speed up at details, anecdotes) and pause to keep the listeners’ attention, and focus attention on important points.

Body language

It has been estimated that 75% of meaning transferred is non-verbal.  Try to maintain eye contact with your audience as this helps keep your audience engaged. Focus on standing straight and directly facing your audience, using hand gestures to emphasise important information.

Visual aids 

A presentation can be enhanced by the effective use of overhead transparencies (slides), charts, pictures, posters or PowerPoint presentations (with limited graphic/sound gimmicks). They provide variety and can help reinforce points made. However, you are still the main communicator of your message. Be familiar with your visual aids, refer to them specifically and only display them when you are referring to them, otherwise they will only be a distraction.

  • Physical charts, graphs, pictures, etc.: ensure that the size is appropriate for a large room. If necessary, back up with handouts.
  • Video: ensure the segment shown is not too long in relation to the overall length of your presentation.
  • Limit the amount of material on each visual: your listeners should be able to read and understand a visual in five seconds or less.
  • Be sure your visuals are large enough to be seen by everyone: the lettering should usually be minimum 20-22 pt. font.
  • Use diagrams, graphs and charts instead of words where possible.
  • Eliminate unnecessary detail from diagrams, graphs and charts.

Expression and style

Try to speak to your audience using notes rather than memorising or reading your presentation. In order to do this, you will have to practise your presentations as many times as you can. If possible, perform in front of an audience. Otherwise, practise in front of a mirror or record yourself on your phone. This will also give you an idea of how long your presentation will take.

Use a conversation style to make your audience feel personally involved. Each time you use the word ‘you’, the audience feels compelled to pay attention.  

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Adapted from Barthel, A. 2010, ‘Presenting a conference paper’, ELSSA Centre, University of Technology Sydney.   

UTS acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people, upon whose ancestral lands our university stands. We would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.

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How To Start A Conference Presentation?

Starting a conference presentation can be daunting, especially if you are not accustomed to speaking in front of a large audience. However, with the right preparation and mindset, you can effectively deliver your message and capture your listeners’ attention.

To start a conference presentation, begin with a compelling introduction that captures the audience’s attention, states the purpose of your talk, and provides an overview of what you will cover.

In this article, we will explore the key steps you can take to confidently start a conference presentation and engage your audience from the beginning.

Key Takeaways:

• Preparation and mindset are crucial for delivering an effective conference presentation. • Tailoring the presentation to the audience’s preferences and interests can increase engagement and retention. • Crafting an attention-grabbing introduction can capture the audience’s attention and pique their curiosity. • Keeping the audience engaged throughout the presentation can be achieved through participation, personal anecdotes, and vivid language.

Know Your Audience

Before beginning a conference presentation, conduct thorough research on the audience demographics to tailor the content appropriately. Understanding demographics is crucial to adapting tone and style to the needs and interests of the audience. 

For example, if the audience comprises experts in a specific field, the presenter may use technical language and complex concepts familiar to them. On the other hand, if the audience is composed of a general audience, the presenter may opt for more simplified language and use relatable examples that are easier to understand.

Moreover, by knowing the audience’s age, gender, education level, and cultural background, the presenter can modify the speech’s content, structure, and visual aids to appeal to the audience’s preferences and expectations. 

For instance, younger audiences may prefer interactive and visually stimulating presentations, while older audiences may prefer more traditional and straightforward formats.

Prepare Your Opening Lines

Commencing with a well-crafted opening statement can captivate the audience and establish the tone for an engaging discourse. Crafting hooks that will entice the audience to listen attentively is crucial to preparing a conference presentation. Apart from that, you should know what to include in a conference presentation. 

An opening gambit should capture the audience’s attention and pique their curiosity. Here are three tips to help create an effective opening:

  • Start with a thought-provoking question or statement. This can be a rhetorical question or a statement challenging the audience’s assumptions or beliefs. Doing so can create a sense of intrigue and compel the audience to listen further.
  • Use a powerful quote or anecdote. This effectively creates an emotional connection with the audience and illustrates the topic’s relevance. A well-chosen quote or anecdote can also help to establish the speaker’s credibility.
  • Provide an interesting fact or statistic. This can be a surprising or little-known fact relevant to the topic. It helps set the stage for the presentation and engage the audience’s curiosity.

Create an Attention-Grabbing Introduction

Crafting an attention-grabbing introduction is crucial in delivering a compelling and impactful speech that leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Creative openings and memorable hooks can enhance the effectiveness of your presentation and increase the chances of capturing your audience’s attention. 

A good introduction should pique the audience’s interest, establish the topic’s relevance, and create a connection with the audience. Apart from a good introduction, you should also dress properly so that you can attract the audience. 

To create a creative and engaging opening, you can use various techniques, such as asking a rhetorical question, sharing an anecdote, using a relevant quote, or presenting a surprising statistic. 

These techniques can help you connect emotionally with the audience and make your presentation more memorable. Additionally, you should ensure that your opening lines are clear, concise, and relevant to the main topic of your presentation. 

Doing so lets you set the stage for the rest of your speech and engage your audience from the beginning. By keeping your audience engaged and interested, you can ensure that your message resonates with them and leaves a lasting impact.

Engage Your Audience

Engaging your audience is key to delivering a successful conference presentation. Encouraging interaction through activities, questions, or polls can keep your audience engaged and invested in the presentation.

Additionally, incorporating real-world examples and case studies can help illustrate your points and make the information more relatable. Using storytelling techniques to convey your message can effectively connect with your audience and leave a lasting impression.

Encourage Interaction

To foster an interactive environment at the start of a conference presentation, interactive techniques can be used to encourage audience participation. One effective method is to present a hypothetical scenario to the audience, prompting them to share their thoughts and opinions. 

For example, the presenter can pose a question about a current event or industry trend and ask the audience to discuss it with their neighbor. This technique encourages participation and engagement and helps break the ice and establish a connection between the presenter and the audience. 

Encouraging interaction at the beginning of a conference presentation can set the tone for the rest of the session. It signals to the audience that their participation and engagement are valued and that the presenter is interested in their perspectives and opinions.

Additionally, interactive techniques help create a more dynamic and engaging presentation, leading to better retention of the information presented. By fostering interaction and engagement at the start of a conference presentation, presenters can create a more effective and memorable experience for their audience. 

Using examples and case studies can help further illustrate the points made in the presentation and provide practical applications for the information presented.

Related Topics: How to present poster at conference?

Use Examples and Case Studies

Examples and case studies provide practical applications for the information presented in a conference session. Attendees often come to conferences seeking new ideas and strategies they can implement in their work. 

By showcasing real-life applications and success stories, presenters can illustrate the benefits of their approach and help attendees see the value in adopting it themselves.

Industry specific examples and case studies can also be especially powerful. By highlighting success stories from within the same industry, presenters can demonstrate the relevance and applicability of their ideas to the audience’s specific context. This can make the information presented feel more tangible, and attendees may leave with a clearer sense of how to apply the ideas in their work.

Additionally, industry specific examples and case studies help attendees feel validated in their experiences and may help them build a sense of community with their fellow conference-goers.

Use Storytelling Techniques

While some may perceive storytelling as a frivolous addition to a professional presentation, it can actually be a powerful tool for evoking emotional responses and facilitating deeper understanding of complex concepts.

Presenters can use a narrative structure to create a compelling story that engages the audience and connects with them personally. This emotional connection can help the audience better understand and remember the presented information.

Incorporating storytelling techniques into a conference presentation requires careful planning and execution. Presenters should identify key points that can be illustrated through storytelling, such as personal anecdotes or case studies.

By using vivid language and imagery, presenters can create a powerful story that engages the audience and enhances their understanding of the topic. However, storytelling should be used strategically and not overdone, as it can detract from the overall message of the presentation.

With practice and refinement, presenters can use storytelling to create a more engaging and memorable conference presentation.

Practice, Practice, Practice

To deliver a successful conference presentation, it is essential to practice, practice, practice. You can familiarize yourself with the material by rehearsing your presentation several times, refining your delivery, and identifying improvement areas.

Timing yourself during rehearsals will help you pace your presentation correctly and avoid running over time. Additionally, seeking feedback from peers or mentors can provide valuable insights and help you fine-tune your presentation for maximum impact.

Rehearse Your Presentation

One essential preparatory step for delivering a successful conference presentation is to rehearse the content thoroughly and systematically to ensure smooth and effective delivery.

Rehearsing your presentation improves your delivery and helps you overcome nervousness. As you practice, focus on the main ideas and arguments you want to communicate and how you will present them engagingly and memorably. This includes paying attention to your body language, tone of voice, and pace of delivery.

Rehearsing your presentation also helps you identify any potential issues that may arise during the presentation. This may include technical difficulties, timing issues, or areas where you must clarify or expand your ideas. 

By identifying and addressing these issues during your practice, you can improve the overall quality of your presentation and increase your confidence in delivering it effectively.

As you rehearse your presentation, time yourself to ensure that you stay within the allotted time frame and provide adequate time for questions and discussion.

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Time Yourself

Timing your delivery is crucial for ensuring that your presentation fits within the allotted time frame and allows for adequate discussion. As the saying goes, ‘time is of the essence’ when delivering a successful conference presentation. 

One effective way to track progress and set goals is to time yourself during rehearsals. This will allow you to adjust your pace and content accordingly, ensuring you cover all the necessary points within the allotted time. 

Additionally, timing yourself can help you to identify areas where you may need to speed up or slow down, allowing for a more engaging and dynamic presentation.

To help you visualize your progress, consider using a table to track your presentation’s timing and content. For instance, create a two-column and four-row table that outlines the time each section of your presentation should take and the corresponding content for each section. 

This will help you stay on track and cover all the necessary points. By setting goals and tracking your progress, you can feel more confident and in control of your presentation, ultimately leading to more successful and impactful delivery.

Get Feedback from Peers or Mentors

After timing yourself during practice runs of your conference presentation, the next step in improving your delivery is to gather input from your peers or mentors. Seeking feedback from other knowledgeable individuals can help you identify areas for improvement and refine your presentation for maximum impact.

When seeking feedback, identify specific questions or areas for input. Ask your peers or mentors to focus on particular aspects of your delivery, such as your tone, body language, or use of visual aids. Be open to constructive criticism and take notes on the feedback you receive.

Incorporating feedback and making necessary adjustments can increase your confidence and ensure your message resonates with your audience.

Starting a conference presentation is like starting a journey. The speaker is the guide, and the audience is the passengers. The opening is the first stop, and it is crucial to make it memorable. 

Like an excellent tour guide, the speaker must know their audience, be well-prepared, and create an introduction that entices the passengers to stay onboard.

Then, the speaker must keep the passengers engaged and interested throughout the journey, ensuring a fantastic experience. A successful conference presentation is like a well-planned and executed journey, leaving the audience feeling informed, entertained, and inspired.

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How To Start a Presentation: 15 Ways to Set the Stage

By Krystle Wong , Jul 25, 2023

How To Start A Presentation

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – it’s your opportunity to make a lasting impression and captivate your audience. 

A strong presentation start acts as a beacon, cutting through the noise and instantly capturing the attention of your listeners. With so much content vying for their focus, a captivating opening ensures that your message stands out and resonates with your audience.

Whether you’re a startup business owner pitching a brilliant idea, a seasoned presenter delivering a persuasive talk or an expert sharing your experience, the start of your presentation can make all the difference. But don’t fret — I’ve got you covered with 15 electrifying ways to kickstart your presentation. 

The presentation introduction examples in this article cover everything from self-introduction to how to start a group presentation, building anticipation that leaves the audience eager to delve into the depths of your topic.

Click to jump ahead:

How to create an engaging introduction for your presentation

15 ways to start a presentation and captivate your audience, common mistakes to avoid in the opening of a presentation, faqs on how to start a presentation, captivate the audience from the get-go.

conference presentation introduction

Regardless of your mode of presentation , crafting an engaging introduction sets the stage for a memorable presentation journey. Let’s dive into some key tips for how to start a presentation speech to help you nail the art of starting with a bang:

Understand your audience

The key to an engaging introduction is to know your audience inside out and give your audience what they want. Tailor your opening to resonate with their specific interests, needs and expectations. Consider what will captivate them and how you can make your presentation relevant to their lives or work.

Use a compelling hook

Grab the audience’s attention from the get-go with a compelling hook. Whether it’s a thought-provoking question, a surprising fact or a gripping story, a powerful opening will immediately pique their curiosity and keep them invested in what you have to say.

conference presentation introduction

State your purpose

Be crystal clear about your subject matter and the purpose of your presentation. In just a few sentences, communicate the main objectives and the value your audience will gain from listening to you. Let them know upfront what to expect and they’ll be more likely to stay engaged throughout.

Introduce yourself and your team

Give a self introduction about who you are such as your job title to establish credibility and rapport with the audience.

Some creative ways to introduce yourself in a presentation would be by sharing a brief and engaging personal story that connects to your topic or the theme of your presentation. This approach instantly makes you relatable and captures the audience’s attention.

Now, let’s talk about — how to introduce team members in a presentation. Before introducing each team member, briefly explain their role or contribution to the project or presentation. This gives the audience an understanding of their relevance and expertise.

Group presentations are also a breeze with the help of Venngage. Our in-editor collaboration tools allow you to edit presentations side by side in real-time. That way, you can seamlessly hare your design with the team for input and make sure everyone is on track. 

Maintain enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is contagious! Keep the energy levels up throughout your introduction, conveying a positive and upbeat tone. A vibrant and welcoming atmosphere sets the stage for an exciting presentation and keeps the audience eager to hear more.

Before you think about how to present a topic, think about how to design impactful slides that can leave a lasting impression on the audience. Here are 120+ presentation ideas , design tips, and examples to help you create an awesome slide deck for your next presentation.

Captivating your audience from the get-go is the key to a successful presentation. Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or a novice taking the stage for the first time, the opening of your presentation sets the tone for the entire talk. 

So, let’s get ready to dive into the 15 most creative ways to start a presentation. I promise you these presentation introduction ideas will captivate your audience, leaving them hanging on your every word.

1. Ask a thought-provoking question

Get the audience’s wheels turning by throwing them a thought-provoking question right out of the gate. Make them ponder, wonder and engage their critical thinking muscles from the very start.

2. Share a surprising statistic or fact

Brace yourself for some wide eyes and dropped jaws! Open your presentation with a jaw-dropping statistic or a mind-blowing fact that’s directly related to your topic. Nothing captures attention like a good ol’ dose of shock and awe.

conference presentation introduction

3. Tell a relevant story

Start your presentation with a riveting story that hooks your audience and relates to your main message. Stories have a magical way of captivating hearts and minds. Organize your slides in a clear and sequential manner and use visuals that complement your narrative and evoke emotions to engage the audience.

With Venngage, you have access to a vast library of high-quality and captivating stock photography, offering thousands of options to enrich your presentations. The best part? It’s entirely free! Elevate your visual storytelling with stunning images that complement your content, captivate your audience and add a professional touch to your presentation. 

Venngage Stock Photo Library

4. Use a powerful quote

Sometimes, all you need is some wise words to work wonders. Begin with a powerful quote from a legendary figure that perfectly fits your presentation’s theme — a dose of inspiration sets the stage for an epic journey.

5. Engage with a poll or interactive activity

Turn the audience from passive listeners to active participants by kicking off with a fun poll or interactive activity. Get them on their feet, or rather — their fingertips, right from the start!

Venngage’s user-friendly drag-and-drop editor allows you to easily transform your slides into an interactive presentation . Create clickable buttons or navigation elements within your presentation to guide your audience to different sections or external resources. 

Enhance engagement by incorporating videos or audio clips directly into your presentation. Venngage supports video and audio embedding, which can add depth to your content.

conference presentation introduction

6. Utilize visuals or props

Capture your audience’s gaze by whipping out captivating visuals or props that add an exciting touch to your subject. A well-placed prop or a stunning visual can make your presentation pop like a fireworks show!

That said, you maybe wondering — how can I make my presentation more attractive.  A well-designed presentation background instantly captures the audience’s attention and creates a positive first impression. Here are 15 presentation background examples to keep the audience awake to help you get inspired. 

7. State a bold statement or challenge

Ready to shake things up? Kick off with a bold and daring statement that sets the stage for your presentation’s epic journey. Boldness has a way of making ears perk up and eyes widen in anticipation!

8. Use humor or wit

Sprinkle some humor and wit to spice things up. Cracking a clever joke or throwing in a witty remark can break the ice and create a positively charged atmosphere. If you’re cracking your head on how to start a group presentation, humor is a great way to start a presentation speech. 

Get your team members involved in the fun to create a collaborative and enjoyable experience for everyone. Laughter is the perfect way to break the ice and set a positive tone for your presentation!

conference presentation introduction

9. Invoke emotion

Get those heartstrings tugging! Start with a heartfelt story or example that stirs up emotions and connects with your audience on a personal level. Emotion is the secret sauce to a memorable presentation.

Aside from getting creative with your introduction, a well-crafted and creative presentation can boost your confidence as a presenter. Browse our catalog of creative presentation templates and get started right away!

10. Use a dramatic pause

A great group presentation example is to start with a powerful moment of silence, like a magician about to reveal their greatest trick. After introducing your team, allow a brief moment of silence. Hold the pause for a few seconds, making it feel deliberate and purposeful. This builds anticipation and curiosity among the audience.

11. Pose a problem and offer a solution

A great idea on how to start a business presentation is to start by presenting a problem and offering a well-thought-out solution. By addressing their pain points and showcasing your solution, you’ll capture their interest and set the stage for a compelling and successful presentation.

Back up your solution with data, research, or case studies that demonstrate its effectiveness. This can also be a good reporting introduction example that adds credibility to your proposal.

Preparing a pitch deck can be a daunting task but fret not. This guide on the 30+ best pitch deck tips and examples has everything you need to bring on new business partners and win new client contracts. Alternatively, you can also get started by customizing one of our professional pitch deck templates for free. 

conference presentation introduction

12. Provide a brief outline

Here’s a good introduction for presentation example if you’re giving a speech at a conference. For longer presentations or conferences with multiple speakers especially, providing an outline helps the audience stay focused on the key takeaways. That way, you can better manage your time and ensure that you cover all the key points without rushing or running out of time.

13. Begin with a personal connection 

Share a real-life experience or a special connection to the topic at hand. This simple act of opening up creates an instant bond with the audience, turning them into your biggest cheerleaders.

Having the team share their personal experiences is also a good group presentation introduction approach. Team members can share their own stories that are related to the topic to create an emotional connection with your audience. 

conference presentation introduction

14. Begin with an opening phrase that captures attention

Use opening phrases that can help you create a strong connection with your audience and make them eager to hear more about what you have to say. Remember to be confident, enthusiastic and authentic in your delivery to maximize the impact of your presentation.

Here are some effective presentation starting words and phrases that can help you grab your audience’s attention and set the stage for a captivating presentation:

  • “Imagine…”
  • “Picture this…”
  • “Did you know that…”
  • “Have you ever wondered…”
  • “In this presentation, we’ll explore…”
  • “Let’s dive right in and discover…”
  • “I’m excited to share with you…”
  • “I have a confession to make…”
  • “I want to start by telling you a story…”
  • “Before we begin, let’s consider…”
  • “Have you ever faced the challenge of…”
  • “We all know that…”
  • “This is a topic close to my heart because…”
  • “Over the next [minutes/hours], we’ll cover…”
  • “I invite you to journey with me through…”

15. Share a fun fact or anecdote

Time for a little fun and games! Kick-off with a lighthearted or fascinating fact that’ll make the audience go, “Wow, really? Tell me more!” A sprinkle of amusement sets the stage for an entertaining ride.

While an introduction for a presentation sets the tone for your speech, a good slide complements your spoken words, helping the audience better understand and remember your message. Check out these 12 best presentation software for 2023 that can aid your next presentation. 

conference presentation introduction

The opening moments of a presentation can make or break your entire talk. It’s your chance to grab your audience’s attention, set the tone, and lay the foundation for a successful presentation. However, there are some common pitfalls that speakers often fall into when starting their presentations. 

Starting with Apologies

It might be tempting to start with a preemptive apology, especially if you’re feeling nervous or unsure about your presentation. However, beginning with unnecessary apologies or self-deprecating remarks sets a negative tone right from the start. Instead of exuding confidence and credibility, you’re unintentionally undermining yourself and your message. 

Reading from Slides

One of the most common blunders in the opening of a PowerPoint presentation is reading directly from your slides or script. While it’s crucial to have a well-structured outline, reciting word-for-word can lead to disengagement and boredom among your audience. Maintain eye contact and connect with your listeners as you speak. Your slides should complement your words, not replace them.

conference presentation introduction

Overwhelming with Information

In the excitement to impress, some presenters bombard their audience with too much information right at the beginning.

Instead of overloading the audience with a sea of data, statistics or technical details that can quickly lead to confusion and disinterest, visualize your data with the help of Venngage. Choose an infographic template that best suits the type of data you want to visualize. Venngage offers a variety of pre-designed templates for charts, graphs, infographics and more.

Venngage Infographics Templates

Ignoring the Audience

It’s easy to get caught up in the content and forget about the people in front of you. Don’t overlook the importance of acknowledging the audience and building a connection with them. Greet them warmly, make eye contact and maintain body language to show genuine interest in their presence. Engage the audience early on by asking a show of hands question or encourage audience participation. 

Lack of Clarity

Your audience should know exactly what to expect from your presentation. Starting with a vague or unclear opening leaves them guessing about the purpose and direction of your talk. Clearly communicate the topic and objectives of your presentation right from the beginning. This sets the stage for a focused and coherent message that resonates with your audience.

Simplicity makes it easier for the audience to understand and retain the information presented. Check out our gallery of simple presentation templates to keep your opening concise and relevant. 

conference presentation introduction

Skipping the Hook

The opening of your presentation is the perfect opportunity to hook your audience’s attention and keep them engaged. However, some presenters overlook this crucial aspect and dive straight into the content without any intrigue. Craft an attention-grabbing hook that sparks curiosity, poses a thought-provoking question or shares an interesting fact. A compelling opening is like the key that unlocks your audience’s receptivity to the rest of your presentation.

Now that you’ve got the gist of how to introduce a presentation, further brush up your speech with these tips on how to make a persuasive presentation and how to improve your presentation skills to create an engaging presentation . 

conference presentation introduction

How can I overcome nervousness at the beginning of a presentation?

To overcome nervousness at the beginning of a presentation, take deep breaths, practice beforehand, and focus on connecting with your audience rather than worrying about yourself.

How long should the opening of a presentation be?

The opening of a presentation should typically be brief, lasting around 1 to 3 minutes, to grab the audience’s attention and set the tone for the rest of the talk.

Should I memorize my presentation’s opening lines?

While it’s helpful to know your opening lines, it’s better to understand the key points and flow naturally to maintain authenticity and flexibility during the presentation.

Should I use slides during the opening of my presentation?

Using slides sparingly during the opening can enhance the message, but avoid overwhelming the audience with too much information early on.

How do I transition smoothly from the opening to the main content of my presentation?

Transition smoothly from the opening to the main content by providing a clear and concise outline of what’s to come, signaling the shift and maintaining a logical flow between topics.

Just as a captivating opening draws your audience in, creating a well-crafted presentation closing has the power to leave a lasting impression. Wrap up in style with these 10 ways to end a presentation .

Presenting virtually? Check out these tips on how to ace your next online presentation . 

Captivating your audience from the very beginning is crucial for a successful presentation. The first few moments of your talk can set the tone and determine whether your audience remains engaged throughout or loses interest. 

Start with a compelling opening that grabs their attention. You can use a thought-provoking question, a surprising statistic or a powerful quote to pique their curiosity. Alternatively, storytelling can be a potent tool to draw them into your narrative. It’s essential to establish a personal connection early on, whether by sharing a relatable experience or expressing empathy towards their needs and interests.

Lastly, be mindful of your body language and vocal delivery. A confident and engaging speaker can captivate an audience, so make eye contact, use appropriate gestures and vary your tone to convey passion and sincerity.

In conclusion, captivating your audience from the very beginning requires thoughtful preparation, engaging content and a confident delivery. With Venngage’s customizable templates, you can adapt your presentation to suit the preferences and interests of your specific audience, ensuring maximum engagement. Go on and get started today!

  • Academic Skills
  • Graduate research

Presenting at conferences

A guide to making the most of opportunities to present at conferences

Why present at conferences?

As a graduate researcher, you are encouraged, often required, to present your research at conferences for several reasons:

  • Conferences are an ideal forum for communicating your research to experts in your field. The research you present can be a completed study, a work-in-progress or a part of your overall project (e.g. a literature review).
  • Attending conferences allows you to stay up to date with developments in your field and to be in contact with important people
  • Conferences inspire your current research. Staying connected and establishing a sense of community not only helps you with your research ideas, but also sustains motivation for your research throughout your candidature.
  • You can polish your presentation skills by watching effective presenters and, indeed, learn from the mistakes of less effective presenters.

Participating in conferences

Participating in conference presentations usually involves the following steps:

  • Call for papers: Typically, the first step is to be aware of calls for papers in your field. You can learn about these through online forums, discipline-specific newsletters, faculty emails or your supervisor.
  • Abstract submission: You then need to submit an abstract to a review committee. The length and precise nature of the abstract will be detailed in the call for papers.
  • Acceptance: If your abstract is successful, you may be requested to submit the full paper by an indicated date. If it isn’t successful, don’t be disheartened. The feedback that you receive from the reviewers is usually extremely valuable. It can help you learn about academic expectations, amend your original paper and increase the likelihood of it being accepted in other conferences or for publication.

Oral presentations give you the opportunity to communicate your research to a wide audience for a specified time.

Poster presentations allow you to engage in one-on-one interaction with your listeners and can, therefore, provide more customised feedback on your research.

In addition to presenting a paper, you can use networking opportunities at conferences. Here are some suggestions for effective networking:

  • After a talk, ask a question relevant to the presenter’s research. This not only demonstrates that you are informed and interested in the presenter’s work, but also increases your chances of being noticed, facilitating your opportunities to chat later.
  • Don’t simply spend time with people from your own institution; you can do that outside the conference context. Use the time at the conference to meet researchers you don’t often have access to.
  • Lunch and dinner functions are great occasions for establishing links with industry for the commercial applications of your research.

Preparing for conferences

  • Ask yourself: what does the audience already know and what do they need to know? For purposes of length and detail, remember that if people are interested in your research, they will take the opportunity to read your research paper.
  • Formulate a clear structure where, a) your aim is stated in the introduction; b) your points are explicitly made, linked and supported; and c) your conclusion has a clear ‘take-home’ message.
  • Practice the talk and time yourself. Keep the talk within the time limit and be flexible about omitting some slides if necessary.
  • If possible, visit the room you will present in beforehand. Attend a session held in the same room to identify any potential technical difficulties. If the conference is online, familiarise yourself with the platform on which you will present.
  • A general rule of thumb for the number of presentation slides is one slide per two minutes. Use visuals where applicable and minimise the amount of text on your slides.

Involving your audience

Avoid reading notes or talking to the data on the screen. Look at the audience before you begin and throughout your talk. Practise presenting one thought to one pair of eyes, breathing, moving then to the next pair of eyes for the following point. If your presentation is online, try to look directly at your webcam as much as possible.

Use a posture which focuses attention on your upper body and face: balance your weight evenly on both feet and keep your hands together about waist-high. This is also an easy position to gesture from. Direct your voice to the audience and articulate your words and sentences.

Attract your audience’s attention by:

  • giving them a problem to think about, e.g. ‘ Have you ever wished that the ultrasound images of your unborn child were considerably clearer? ’
  • stating a remarkable fact, e.g. ‘ Did you know that prior to the September 11 attacks, fire had never caused any steel-framed buildings to collapse? ’
  • sharing a story or personal anecdote, e.g. ‘ When I think about creativity, I’m reminded of the man who invented the microwave oven. He spent years experimenting with radar transmitters when he noticed that, while doing so, the chocolate in his pocket consistently melted. ’

Remember: your hook must be closely related to your presentation topic.

This gives you a chance not only to set up for your talk but also to chat to audience members about their backgrounds, interests and expectations.

Towards the end of a full day of presentations, and in the middle of a talk, audience concentration levels can wane. Re-engage the audience by assigning activities, using humour or giving a stimulating example of your research application.

Presenting your research

During your presentation, make sure you:

State your aim/purpose

Talk about the goals of your research or the purpose of the presentation before discussing techniques. You must first convince your audience of the importance of your work before requiring them to tackle the more technical details.

Contextualise your research

Position your study within current literature and methods. This allows you to create a context for your own work.

Present methods and findings clearly and attractively

Focus on your main approach, the reasons for choosing it, the key results of your research and their implications. If your audience are interested in the details of your research, they will ask questions, arrange to chat with you after the talk, or read your paper.

End your talk with a powerful ‘take-home’ message

Emphasise the major points raised in your presentation and highlight the significance of your research.

Deal with questions effectively

Before the presentation, anticipate likely questions about your research and prepare your answers. During question time, maintain eye contact with the person asking the question. Paraphrase their question to ensure that you have understood it correctly and other members of the audience have heard it.

If you do not have a direct answer, you can acknowledge the point being made and suggest ways of carrying out further research. You can also ask for their own recommendations and exchange contact details for follow-up.

Conference presentations provide great opportunities for you to communicate your research to a wide and interested audience, get feedback on your work, learn from other presenters and broaden your professional network. Preparation and practice are key to getting the most out of these occasions.

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