An introduction is the very first message an audience will hear when you have to speak in public.It can set the scene and make or break a presentation.
It is frustrating so very few presenters use this powerful tool.Always request an MC or someone respected to introduce you. This provides instant credibility through third party endorsement.It is far better for someone else to talk about and endorse your fantastic achievements than yourself.
The more senior, respected, experienced or higher ranked, the greater the credibility boost you will receive.As that well known phrase goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. So do you leave this opportunity to chance? Or do you want to control every word the audience hears?It is always best to control the introduction and in particular, write your own introduction and importantly brief the person who will be introducing you.
A well written introduction you have prepared beforehand also allows you to move smoothly and unhesitatingly from the introduction to your opening.Here are some public speaking tips and 10 easy ways to prepare a powerful introduction when giving a speech for any occasion.
1. It Has To Make Sense.
Your introduction must make sense and cover why you are speaking or have been chosen to speak. Read it out aloud to someone else prior to giving it to the introducer.
2. Keep It Simple.
The best introductions are often the simplest.
3. Keep It Short.
A short introduction will have the most impact. Remember the audience has come to hear you not the introducer. Bill Clinton has made famous his mistake in the US Congress where he took longer to introduce someone than the actual speech. Don’t make this fatal mistake. A good introduction will take between 20 and 30 seconds to read out and be between 3 and 4 paragraphs in length.
4. Make An Impact.
Good introductions make an impact. Ways to do this could be to start with a rhetorical question.
5. Include Personal Information.
Include personal information to make a human connection with the audience. This helps build rapport and empathy.
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6. Include The Quirky, Memorable or Unusual.
This helps the audience relate to and remember you. It is also useful as a way of introducing humour or a foil or balance to all your great achievements. The unusual can also surprise and delight an audience. I use my past involvement in the unusual athletic pursuit of hammer throwing to help put a smile on the audiences faces.
7. Link To The Opening.
Make sure you have a link in your introduction to segue seamlessly into your opening. Remember the introduction and your opening are NOT the same.
8. Have Large Font.
Make sure the introducer can read the introduction. Keep the font as large as possible that will comfortably fit on 1-page.
9. Brief The Introducer.
Always brief the introducer on pronunciations and any stage directions. It is especially important for them to shake your hand to give you confidence and energy and permission to connect with the audience.
10. Give Them Plenty Of Time To Prepare.
Avoid handing the introduction to the MC at the last moment. Give them plenty of time to prepare and rehearse. Most are nervous and will want to do their best. Always avoid the credibility sapping experience of them saying, “So and so has just handed me this and I’m just going to read it out.” Don’t laugh it has happened to me and nothing dampens your energy and enthusiasm as a presenter more than being introduced with that line.
This article was written by Thomas Murrell MBA CSP, International Business Speaker