Many clubs and organizations rotate the important role of introducing other speakers at their meetings. If you are relatively inexperienced at public speaking this is a great opportunity to practice and build your confidence.
When introducing other speakers you are aiming to create a favorable environment for them to present. If the right words are chosen you can put the audience into a receptive mood to listen. On the other hand a poor choice can leave the audience bored and restless.
Introductions are as different as the individuals involved. In presenting public speakers, each requires a separate approach, in the same way each hole in golf course is played a little differently from the other seventeen holes. Whether you get a high platform rating or a low golf score depends on the approach you chose.
The following tips will help you choose your approach to boost your platform score:
Plan Your Introductions
Introductions deserve more than impromptu fumbling. Learn about the speaker you are about to introduce. If you don’t know the speaker, discover as much as you can about the speaker by getting to know them. Try to answer the following questions;
- What is their area of expertise?
- What subject are they speaking on?
- What do others say about them?
- What business line are they in?
Plan carefully how you are going to introduce them to their audience and you will put them and their audience in “sync” with each other.
Length of Your Introduction
Be brief like good literature — talk long enough to cover the details but be short enough to leave the audience wanting more. Your job is to build up the speaker not to give the speech or to make yourself the center of attention. A custom to keep in mind is that the more well known the speaker the shorter the introduction needs to be.
Keep It Simple and Sincere
Do not over complicate your introductory speech. By keeping it simple you will not confuse the audience. Mean what you say about the speaker; do not exaggerate the speaker’s experience or ability. You have the opportunity to spur on the modest speaker with a few well chosen words.
Structure of the Introduction — A useful outline to use to structure your introduction:
– Opening remarks – start with an upbeat remark
– Biographical details about the speaker – who the speaker is?
– Topic of his speech – be brief – do not give the speech for him
– Thank the speaker and clearly pronounce his name
The introduction of guest speakers is a very important role. It can boost or detract from the audience’s enjoyment of the speech. It is a great way to build your experience and confidence for your own public speaking. And if you enjoy the role introducing of speakers you could consider the more involved master of ceremonies role for further public speaking experience.
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