Don’t be that person who’s left the introduction to chance! The introduction to your presentation is a critical component. What is said and how it’s delivered can be a contributing factor to your success or failure.
Why? Because your presentation starts the moment you’re being introduced. The introduction sets the stage and the tone. It doesn’t matter if the audience consists of 2 people, 200 or 2000 – what is said before the speaker begins serves to get things rolling, minimize distractions, build anticipation and start the conversation.
The Ho-Hum Introduction. The typical speaker introduction is a mini version of a biography – a boring litany of jobs, schools, and hobbies that rarely engage an audience. Unless these pieces help listeners understand the “what’s in it for me” and leaves them eager to hear more, they should not be included.
Speakers, DON’T Leave It To Chance
Speakers, prepare your own introduction whether you’ve been asked to or not, and provide it to your sponsor or introducer with enough time to review and discuss.
And here is a best kept secret that few will share: schedule a time to rehearse both the introduction and the mechanics behind turning the stage over to the speaker. You might be thinking, “What, rehearse an introduction? You’ve got to be kidding!” But I am not. The 5 minutes you take for this run-through can only help guarantee your success and boost confidence!
Introducers, TAKE Responsibility
Introducers, right from the start, the success of this presentation is in your hands! Seize the opportunity! If your speaker is not providing you with an introduction, take the initiative and develop one that you can review together.
How? First, if you don’t know the person, in fact even if you do, be sure to connect with the goal of understanding what their talk is about, what their key take-a-way-message is and why this topic is important to them and their audience. Second, take time to get to know them as a person so you aren’t introducing a stranger but a colleague that is worth listening to!
What gets in the way of a good introduction? Perceptions! Introductions are often dismissed as a “throw-a-way request”; after all it’s JUST an introduction. Too often the perception is that “I can do that on the fly.” In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If done poorly, an introduction can damage the introducer’s credibility, the speaker’s momentum and the audience’s attention!
Go For Bravo. When it comes to delivering a presentation anything can happen; however, if you take control of the introduction you will surely have all the pieces to go from Ho-Hum to Bravo!
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