John Doorbar


A Thunderbolt Start

Great Presenting – Start with Impact

3 excellent ways to start like a thunderbolt

1. The Unexpected

In English we say that an incident happened like a “bolt from the blue.” Unique athletes, like Usain Bolt, need to get a great start to be in with a chance of winning. The first 2-3 seconds are vital!

As presenters we must make a great start too. As presenters we compete with lots of rival activities – checking mobiles, great films, multi-tasking executives.

The only way to get their attention is to shock, surprise or amaze.


A great example is Bill Gates’ start at the TED conference when he let some mosquitoes out of a jar. The result – immediate attention – an audience that was present and ready to listen, listen to every word, at the edge of their seats!

2. A Surprising Fact

Surprise is a wonderful attention generator.


Let us take Jamie Oliver’s start: “Sadly in the next 18 minutes, four Americans that were alive will be dead through the food that they eat.”

This is a great wake-up call, isn’t it? Jamie Oliver then went on to show what they could do to reduce the chance of a young death due to unhealthy eating.

3. Memorable Use of Props

Jamie Oliver arrived at his TED speech with a wheelbarrow full of sugar.


He emptied it out onto the stage! The US audience was amazed at the amount of sugar they eat. This wheelbarrow-full represents the amount of sugar a child eats in 5 years from drinking milk.

Ricarda Kiel