“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users emphases how important is it to make a good beginning on keeping your audience/readers attention. It is a good reminder for preparing my presentation this week. Hope it helps you as well.
She gives number of great tips on writing books, articles and presentations. Cut the chase, take the first chapter and throw it away – or do not start with history or background are some quite interesting thoughts:
3) For the love of god, DO NOT start with history!
If I read just ONE more book about the web that starts with a history of the internet, I will have to take hostages. Seriously. Do any of us really need to know about DARPA and CERN and…? Do most web designers and programmers really care? No, and No. And it’s not just web design books that suffer from this worst-thing-to-put-in-chapter-one syndrome. WHY DO AUTHORS KEEP PUTTING THE HISTORICAL OVERVIEW AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK?? If you feel driven or morally obligated to include the history of whatever, fine, but don’t put it at the front. Stick it in an appendix or on a web page, where it’ll do the least damage. (To be fair, there are plenty of topics where the history is interesting and useful, but rarely is the historical overview the grabby get-them-hooked thing you need up front.) …
Better Beginnings: how to start a presentation, book, article… – [Creating Passionate Users]