Pitching & Presenting

Create Killer Presentation Openings That Grab Attention

Create Killer Presentation Openings That Grab Attention

How Tomatoes Took Their Breath Away!

Albert was an expert in digital radio and was asked to present at an industry conference on broadcasting.

As he prepared, he wasn’t in love with his presentation. Deep inside, Albert felt it was just one more standard conference presentation that would come and go… and not be memorable. He believed in his content, but somehow, the whole thing just lacked impact.

He was planning to start by thanking the conference organizers. Then, with PowerPoint Slides 2 and 3, he would introduce himself and his organization, and provide an overview of what he would cover.

In Slides 4 through 6, he would say that digital radio is the future, and that radio listeners will migrate more and more to digital, because the choices were more esoteric, more varied and, in each particular listener’s heart and mind, more tasteful.

In Slide 7, he had a photo of tomatoes — no, not the standard tomatoes you find in mainstream supermarkets; not those clones that are all the same size and perfectly round.

These were luscious tomatoes at an open-air market in the south of France… tomatoes that weren’t perfectly round… varieties that one can’t find in supermarkets… that the vendor either grew herself or bought directly from a local farmer.

Albert loved the photo. It illustrated the big point: Digital radio provides the listener with music that you can’t find on mainstream channels. It’s not made for the masses. It’s esoteric.

“Albert,” I said. “This is your grab!”



“Yeah!” Albert’s excitement was palpable. “This is it! This is my opening slide!”

Let’s throw in another “E” word. Euphoria!

Albert became euphoric because in a single moment, he not only knew he had a high-impact opening that would grab the audience’s attention, he also got a huge boost of confidence.

“This is going to be great!”

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Albert now loved his presentation, and he was ready to bring that love, that passion, to the audience from the moment he took the stage. He reworked his opening lines with the tomato slide as his visual. It was a killer presentation opening.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure you see tomatoes… tomatoes that you don’t find in your everyday supermarket.

“What I see is the future of digital radio.” (Pause.)

“I see a future where the content is varied and esoteric, and where each listener can pick and choose their music… just like shoppers getting their vegetables at a market in Provence can pick and choose tomatoes that they can’t get in mainstream supermarkets.”

Albert rocked the house. The content in the rest of his presentation was virtually the same as it was before the Eureka! Moment, just restructured, re-sequenced to add context… and impact.

After the tomato slide, Albert reiterated the context of why and how digital radio was the future. Then he outlined how media outlets should adjust to capture and retain listeners.

Only then did he quickly introduce himself and his organization as a way of showing credibility, which softly showed that his organization was the go-to partner.

+ + +

At the conference, Albert walked on stage with confidence and immediately took the audience’s breath away, of sorts.

The tomato photo and metaphor had some people laughing. It had other people wondering. It had others putting the metaphor together on their own.

But no one was looking at their mobile phones. No one was thinking about who they should chase at the coffee break. Everyone had their eyes and ears on Albert.

He was overall a decent presenter, but that day he was great. His opening carried him. It drove his content.

He loved his content, and he shared the love with the audience.

They felt it… and they loved him.

At the coffee break right after his presentation, Albert was swamped with admirers, and he left the conference with more than his share of sales leads.

+ + +

I help presenters make their presentations high-impact, and I help sales teams improve their performance by putting the “love” into the sales process. The tools and techniques vary, but the mindset is simply a heart-set.

Let’s talk about love and sales. Contact me here and let’s set up a call.