Those first few moments of your presentation are critical. Gaps/delays between speakers, or a gap between your introduction and the start of your presentation can result in the audience’s attention wandering.
I was at a conference recently in which there was a delay between the speaker introduction and the beginning of the presentation … for every lecture! Following the introduction, the presenter had to wait for the first slide, or find their own presentation on the computer desktop and open the PowerPoint file. It was like the curtain going up and having no one on stage.
One thing that a speaker can do in this situation is to make sure the presentation is open before they are introduced. Or they can just start without that first slide, they can say “While they’re getting everything going…” If you have a well designed opening it should be possible to start without that first slide (which is usually just the title slide anyway). Of course you could get creative; maybe you can use the gap in your opening. “Obviously not everything is as simple as we would like it; it reminds me of the time…” There is also the danger that they cannot get the slides going …then onto plan B, using your backup notes.
So “Mind the Gap”, or should I say “Manage the Gap”. It can affect those first critical moments when you need to grab the audience’s attention and bring them into your world.
Refuse to be boring