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How do you welcome a business audience to your presentation?

I've thought of:

Hello, my name is [prename] [surname] and I am going to talk about [...]

but it sounds rather like a school presentation and not like a business presentation. Or isn't there a difference in the English language?

Does it make a difference if there are only men or if it is a mixed audience?

(I don't have any experience with business presentations and English is a foreign language for me. If you have any more hints for business presentations or links to websites that adress this topic: Please let me know in the comment. But please note that this is not the question.)

(Note: I've already asked this question here)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

That's not a bad opening. I might change it to "Today we're going to talk about..." to make it more inclusive, but there's nothing wrong with being straightforward. Another version might be "Today I'd like to talk to you about..."

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What about the Hello? Is this ok? Would you say something like Hello, ladies and gentlemen? –  moose Sep 4 '12 at 8:51
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Sure, don't you normally say "hello" when you greet someone? Remember, you're speaking, not reciting. I don't think you should be reading from a script when you give a presentation. You should have your thoughts as bullet points on note cards, and your presentation should be at least a little ad-libbed (spontaneous). You should know what you want to say, and you should rehearse it both with and without an audience. But you shouldn't be clutching a sheaf of paper and reading the words like it was Storytime for Adults. You're talking to people and with them, not at them. –  Lauren Ipsum Sep 4 '12 at 10:08
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Hello everyone should be alright. Make it natural, people won't care about the subtle way you greet them.

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Would you care to explain why? That would make this a much better answer. –  Neil Fein Sep 4 '12 at 17:03
    
It's a business audience being spoken to in English. It's not French, English speakers don't fuss as much as French speakers about etiquette. –  Elena Mellor Sep 4 '12 at 21:57
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What kind of information are you presenting? If you are presenting a weekly update to a board a normal introduction like the above will do just fine.

However, if you are presenting something of import, or trying to persuade your audience on a certain subject I would say go with something more powerful. Start with a powerful argument, then introduce yourself.

Mostly, be confident and knowledgeable in your topic. An introduction can easily be brushed aside if you know what you are talking about.

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  1. Make the audience comfortable.

    Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I believe everyone here is comfortable. We have water and beverages on the tables at the sides. Please feel free to saunter in the middle of my presentation to go there to get a cookie too, if the need and desire so arises.

  2. Introduce yourself without self-aggrandisement. Attribute yourself as highly competent by saying that the people you work with are highly competent.

    I am Ally McBeal. I work with a team of experts in our company Caged Fish Wattle. Our company's expertise is highly focused on personal reputation and assets maintenance. With that expertise, we have amassed a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in keeping your reputation, investments as well as real and virtual assets secure.

  3. Introduce the modus operandi, without complicating details. Use illustrative words (not bombastic words) that would draw a picture for the clients with as brief a description as possible. Make the audience comfortable, seeing each one as potential client or existing client with potential for escalated relationship.

    We have a legal team, a team of finance and economic expertise, a cloud of computing hardware and the most hack-hardened network security and software experts. We even have a weather-forecast person who advises and issues reports to clients against any of your ventures having any potential of being hampered by geological and weather events.

    She happens to be with us here ... and here is Susan, the most pleasant colleague I've had the privilege to work with (Susan takes a slight bow and sits down). And, we are pleasantly surprised, that our chief technical officer is also here. George, the most intensely focused person I know. (George turns around smiles and waves slightly.)

    Our cloud resources has far and wide reaching capabilities to monitor and avert intrusions on your assets and ventures with speed and precision and a wide margin of pre-emption due to ever changing dynamic patterns that our technical capacity has been able to design and construct into our cloud, with constant and persistent adaptive reinforcement due to our legal and economic expertise. As well as weather forecasting expertise.

  4. Your presentation.


Note the use of 2nd person pronoun "your", "you" (rather than "their" or "they") as often as possible, when addressing potential and existing clients.

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