How to Prepare and Deliver a Great Introduction

Aug 24 08:08 2011 Warwick Merry Print This Article

If you've been given the task of introducing a guest speaker here are some great tips for a killer intro!

The audience are hushed as the MC comes to the lectern.  The MC looks nervously at their notes and then looks up to start.

“Our next speaker is a person who needs no introduction…”

They then go on for five minutes introducing the person.  It is as if they are reading their resume to everyone.  As the organiser there is only one thing you can do.  Scream “Aaarrrrgggghhh!!!” and storm on stage to kick them off!!  Maybe not. 

A good introduction won’t make the event brilliant but a bad one can be a real hiccup.  A bad introduction can put off the speaker,Guest Posting get the audience off side and even set up mental barriers in the mind of the audience so they do not accept what is being told to them.

A good introduction can really make a difference to the effectiveness of a presentation.  It will set the scene in a positive manner so that the speaker can get the results you want.  It can swiftly shift the focus of the audience to their next piece of learning or presenter but most importantly, a good introduction will make your life as the event organiser easier.

So how do you write a GREAT introduction?  Simply keep these points in mind:

•    It is not about the speaker
Most people think the introduction is about the speaker, it isn’t.  It is about the audience.  It needs to let the audience know what they are going to get.  What are the benefits of the presentation.  Quite simply, what is in it for me?

•    Little bit of speaker credibility
Even though it is not about the speaker it needs to show they have the Right To Speak.  That is, it has enough evidence for the audience to accept that the speaker knows what they are talking about.

•    Keep it small
The introduction should be two or three paragraphs tops and take about 30 seconds to say.  The introduction should make the audience hungry for more and not have them start to think about the work back at the office.

•    Have some fun
Humour is the best way to open people’s mind and add the element of humility to the speaker. With the speaker’s permission, put a bit of fun it.

•    Last thing is speaker name
Having the speaker’s name as the last words creates an individual connection with the audience and the speaker.  This starts the relationship between them. The final sentence needs to be something like, “Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please welcome our CEO, Ms Jane Smith.

So know you know how to write one, but what is the best way to deliver it?  There are a couple of things that will make the introduction a lot smoother:

•    Make it easy to read
Print out the intro using a large font and line and a half spacing.  Any challenging words (particularly names) can be spelt phonetically.  It is all about making it easy to read.

•    Get the Speaker to Read it
Before the event, get in touch with the speaker and have them approve the intro.  If you need to educate them on what makes a great intro, send them this article if you need to!  Take into account any changes they suggest.  We need them to be happy but our first focus is the audience.

•    Ask MC to read it twice
Give the introduction to the MC well before the day and another copy on the day.  While you stand there, ask them to read it twice.  This helps them get the flow of it and you can correct any pronunciation issues or answer any questions they may have.

•    Ask to stick to script
Ask the MC to stick closely to the script. So often an ad-libbed joke or personal reference that is not part of the introduction will disrupt the impact of the introduction.

•    Practice
Have the MC practice the introduction to be sure they have the timing and emphasis you want.

These ideas are not rocket science but they make a huge difference.  As an MC and speaker with over 15 years’ experience, I am more than happy to help you with your next introduction.  If you want some ideas to make your next session run smoothly and impressively, don’t hesitate to contact me.  A GREAT introduction will help make your next event the success you want it to be.



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Warwick Merry
Warwick Merry

About the Author

Warwick Merry is the Get More Guy - a motivational speaker and trade show specialist. A professional speaker, consultant, coach and trainer renowned for his high-energy presentations and seminars, he ignites an inexhaustible passion to Get More out of life.

Visit his site to sign up for his Get More Goer - weekly thought of inspiration and visit Double Your Return for your f*ree CD on how to double your exhibiting and sales return.


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