A good speaker introduction is very crucial to ensure effective presentations and speeches. So many speeches than anyone could imagine have been doomed to failure by a simple bad introduction. And what everyone expected to be a moment of kindling the fire of enthusiasm in the audience turns out to be a brain freeze outbreak.
There is no denying, the audience pays very keen attention to the speaker’s caliber right from the beginning. That being the case, it’s never a good idea to let the introducer go casual as they can easily sway off and end up saying very non-substantive words.
Or worse than that, end up saying an unnecessary joke that will not only hurt the speaker but also the meeting itself. It goes without saying, a good speaker introduction will aid the success of the speaker as well as the event.
Another Article that might be of Interest: 7 Basic Elements of Public Speaking & 8 Key Tips for Effective Speech Delivery
11 Key Tips to Introduce a Speaker in the Right Way
1. Answer Three Core Questions
The main purpose of having a speech introduction for a certain speaker is to mentally and physically prepare the audience. Also, to get them a little excited about what they are about to hear from the speaker. This introduction should be able to answer; What the topic is? The importance of the topic to the selected audience and whether or not the speaker is well qualified to deliver on the topic.
When the introduction gives valuable information on these three things, then the audience will be more than motivated to listen to the speaker. Of course, the topic of the day is of great importance to the audience, and giving the speaker the credibility he deserves will definitely work in your favor.
Although in some instances a little humor may be permitted, the introduction should NEVER denigrate the speaker. Whether it’s for fun or not. The whole idea of the speech introduction is to make the speaker lovable to the audience and help them desire to hear what he has to say.
2. Rehearse as Many Times as Possible
By all means necessary, avoid going to the stage unprepared. Such thoughts will lead to stumbling and bumbling which will undermine the credibility of your speech introduction. Always remember to rehearse your work which will help you put yourself in the shoes of the audience.
The best part is to write down your speech introduction and check it with the speaker before the meeting. When that is done, practice it as many times as you possibly can. That way, you will avoid messing up a good speech just because you were not ready.
3. Engage with the Speaker and Know Them Better
You cannot get the audience to be excited about a speaker you are not excited about them yourself. Your introduction will lack the sincerity it requires if the speaking is unknown to you. In that case, google information about the speaker or talk to them about their expertise until you have sufficient information to make the introduction exciting.
4. Avoid Altering the Speech Title
Speakers always invest a lot when drafting their speech title and every word has a great impact on the speech. In most cases, the title may have a phrase or a word that the speaker may want the audience to remember.
That is because these phrases may come in handy during the actual speech. Therefore, make sure that you don’t alter the title in any way and most importantly know how to pronounce every word in the title.
5. Accuracy is key
Just as it is important to have correct punctuation, ensure you also have the facts right. This means that any information you give during the introduction should be flawless.
Note that many speakers will feel the need to correct you if you make any factual errors during the introduction. A lousy introduction is more likely to kill the speaker’s momentum and this is not what we want.
6. Never Give an Outline of the Speaker’s Speech
Giving an outline of the speaker’s speech is the last thing you should ever do when giving an introduction. This will not only give the audience unreasonable expectations but also end up sabotaging the whole speech.
It’s the speaker’s job to decide when to give the audience the outline. It may feel undermining to the speaker if you give too many details about their speech. Unless they have asked you, keep the introduction at a high level.
7. Stick Only to Relevant Details About the Speaker
The most common mistakes introducers make is giving a lengthy bibliography about the speaker. This information is good, yes, but it may not be relevant to the topic the speaker will be presenting.
There’s is no need to recite everything. Just pick the most relevant information and the most recent details. That would be enough.
8. Do not Overdo the Introduction
The introduction should be just long enough to accomplish the designated goals. Long introductions can be very boring and will kill the audience’s morale even before the speaker starts off.
Let the introduction cover just the key things such as; the topic of the day, why the topic matters, and the credibility of the speaker.
9. Avoid Using Clichés
Every speech benefits from an introduction. Therefore, don’t go up there after been given the chance to introduce the speaker and go with the ‘This speaker doesn’t need any introduction…’ cliché.
While in some cases the speaker may be well known to the audience, a brief introduction will go a long way into preparing the audience for the speech.
10. No need for Exaggerated Hype
As much as an introduction should make your audience excited about the talk, make sure that you don’t take it too far. Don’t make the audience to have lofty expectations as this will only cause a detrimental effect as the audience will feel the need to prove you wrong.
11. Ensure there’s a Smooth Transition
You must have in mind the position of the speaker in the room as you give the last few words. This will come in handy as you can turn and greet them as you exit the stage.
The handshake is an etiquette gesture that indicates ‘handing the floor’ to another person. In case the speaker has something else in mind about their entrance, make sure you communicate to aid the success of the whole thing.
Now that you have everything you on how to best introduce a speaker here are a few examples that you can check out for further clarification;
There are several do’s and don’ts that you need to understand in order to figure out the right way on how to introduce a speaker and that, depending on how you do it, it can either break or make the rest of the speech. While a good introduction will capture the attention of the audience, a bad introduction, without a doubt, will without a doubt turn the audience against the speaker.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING
How to Introduce a Guest Speaker. https://www.wikihow.com/Introduce-a-Guest-Speaker
How to Introduce another Presenter in 3 Steps. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n8pQl-2c1M
Nick Morgan. How to Introduce a Speaker. https://publicwords.com/2011/11/26/how-to-introduce-a-speaker-the-art-of-giving-and-receiving-a-great-introduction/
Timothy Hyde. Introducing a Speaker. https://expertmc.com/introducing-a-speaker-sample-script/