Journalists use the phrase “bury the lead” when they don’t hook the reader in the first line with the most interesting fact or insight. The same is true for your pitch – don’t bury the lead. The first 30 seconds of your presentation is your chance to hook the audience. The way you handle the opening will set you up for a smashing success or a painful flop. You’ve already won half the battle if you can immediately grab the audience’s attention.
There are many ways to make your opening attention-getting and memorable, but a story is the most common. To do this effectively, tell an emotionally-charged story about your history, your mission, or your product. Your story should make the audience say either “wow” or “me too.” Stun them with your story of struggle and triumph that pulls at their heart strings, blow them away with your technology, or get them to relate to the frustrating pain that you solve.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t bury the lead. Make your opening exciting, captivating, and memorable.