The first slide of a presentation is even more difficult to construct than the last one. The worst introduction slide is a list of bullets that tells the entire presentation story - in a boring way. Because the presenter wants to be quick, generic, hollow statements are used:
  • "we have a great team
  • "we will have $100m revenues in 3 years"
  • "our architecture is scalable and flexible"
The audience has heard them before, these messages will not stick. Moreover, they can read faster than the presenter can speak, so after having read the first slide, it's time to check email on your mobile or take a call in the corridor... Staying in the context of a start-up pitching for fund raising, what should be included in an introduction slide (could be more than 1):
  • Who are you? People are trying to figure you out in the first seconds
  • What is this company about "roughly"
  • A teaser or interesting story that gets the audience interested in hearing the actual presentation
Then the (short) presentation itself should do the work of delivering the messages, not the summary slide. Exception. I have seen good presenters get away with a bad opening slide. They put it up and start presenting a compelling story about their company, not using the PowerPoint presentatino at all!

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