Engage your Audience Before Your Presentation Begins

Last week I had an opportunity to accompany my daughter on a field trip to listen to a National Geographic photographer speak about the rainforest.

As we settled into our seats, I could hear students all over the auditorium shouting seemingly random letters.

At first it was: “A! A! A!”

And then “C! No, B! It’s B! B! B!”


Students jumped out of their seats shouting answers as trivia questions flashed across the screen in the auditorium.

Then I looked at the huge screen hovering above the stage and realized they were shouting out answers to trivia questions. There was a buzz in the air even before the speaker took the stage. I loved it. And I immediately began thinking of ways that trainers and presenters could imitate this idea. 

I created a short slide deck of trivia questions and fun facts around basic adult learning and training skills.

Walking into a training room can be awkward, especially if participants don’t know one another. Those minutes prior to a presentation can also be golden minutes to “prime” the participants even before the presentation begins.

Why not have a slide deck that is set to advance automatically every 20 seconds with a series of fun facts and trivia questions about the content you’re going to cover? It might break the ice and get your learners curious about your content.

If you want to try this out, feel free to training trivia slide deck. And don’t forget to drop me a line and let me know how it went.

You may also want to check out our guide to the messy start.


2 thoughts on “Engage your Audience Before Your Presentation Begins

  1. Love this idea Brian. I run a scrolling PPT as people enter with pictures of my family, testimonials, administrivia about the class (start and stop times, where is the bathroom), fun quotes about training, organizations I have worked with etc. It gives them something to focus on and lets them know a bit more about me personally, since I never begin with my Bio. (it is the front of the manual for those who really want to know my credentials) I like the idea of creating another one to run on day 2 with questions about day 1 content.

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