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How to Introduce a Speaker

A good introduction can make or break a speaker's performance, so it's crucial for event hosts to deliver one that will set the speaker up for success. The introduction should answer three questions: why this speaker, on this subject, to this audience? It should establish the speaker's credibility, trust, and likability while also giving the audience a reason to pay attention.

Speakers should prepare their own introduction if they don't want to rely on the event host. A prepared introduction can prevent embarrassing incidents or misinterpretations of the speaker's credentials or accomplishments.

The introduction should start by giving a reason for the audience to care about the speaker and their topic. Humor is okay, but the introduction should never denigrate the speaker. The goal is to raise the speaker's status in the audience's mind.

End the introduction with an applause line for the speaker and a handshake between the speaker and the introducer. The handshake will ground and comfort the speaker, and create a bond between the speaker and the audience.

Don't neglect the introduction. It's an essential part of a speaker's performance and a well-prepared introduction can increase the chances of the speaker's success.

A good introduction should answer 3 questions: why this speaker, on this subject, to this audience? This is the most important part of the introduction. It provides context for the audience, sets expectations and establishes the speaker's relevance to the topic and audience. A little humor is permitted, but an introduction should never denigrate the speaker, even in fun. The goal is to build the speaker up in the audience's mind.

Always end with an applause line for the speaker, such as "Please join me in welcoming [Speaker's Name]," to allow them time to get up on the stage and be ready to start. It is also a good idea to shake the speaker's hand as they walk to the podium, as this gesture can be grounding and comforting for the speaker and creates a bond between the introducer and the audience.

In terms of body language, the handshake between the introducer and the speaker gives the audience the sense that they have met the speaker close up, as the introducer is the representative of the audience. So, the handshake forms a bond with everyone present.

Speakers should also prepare their own introduction. Don't assume that the event organizers will have a credible introduction ready. Instead, write it yourself to ensure that you walk on stage with credibility, trust, and likability. A poorly prepared introduction can cause harm to your image, so it is important to take control of your own introduction.

In conclusion, the introduction is a crucial part of a successful speaking event. It sets the tone for the speaker, establishes their credibility, and provides context for the audience. A well-prepared introduction can make the difference between a mediocre and a successful speaking engagement.

Mark Westbrook - Speaking Coach


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