At some point in your life, you will probably be called upon to introduce a speaker. Here’s how to do it well:
Speaker introductions should be brief, 60-90 seconds. Include the speaker’s name (pronounced correctly), the speech topic, their background and credentials which relate to the topic and how the audience will benefit from the speech. The final sentence of your introduction should repeat the speaker’s name adding the speech title.
It’s also nice to personalize the intro with a quick insight into how you came to know the speaker, if possible. For example: “Don and I first met years ago when we were both working at…” or “You know, the first time Amanda and I met…” or “I just had the pleasure of meeting Charles this morning over breakfast and I know you’ll find his ideas…”
Let me also add two important Don’ts:
Don’t reveal the speech content. Let the speaker give the speech. You’re there to simply tease the topic and intro the speaker.
Don’t embarrass the speaker in any way by sharing information that is overly personal or casts a negative light on them or their reputation. When in doubt, run your thoughts past the speaker BEFORE the intro.
Stay at the lectern until the speaker reaches it, shake hands, then exit in the opposite direction from the speaker’s approach.
At the conclusion, meet the speaker at the lectern and shake hands again as the speaker leaves. Offer a few summary comments referring to the speech’s ideas and how they have enlightened you and the audience, along with words of thanks and appreciation.
Follow these guidelines and speakers and audiences alike will thank you!
© 2017 Jill Bremer • All Rights Reserved