Randall MunsonHow to
Deliver a Great Introduction
down the group
You want get the attention of everyone in the room and focus
them on the presentation they are about to hear. If
you start the introduction before you have the full attention of the
group, they will not hear some of the introduction and that will detract
from the presentation. It is much easier to gain everyone’s attention
before you start than to try to get their attention while you are in the
middle of what you are saying. You can do this by saying
“Please take your seats now so that we may begin our featured
presentation.” Stand and look directly at the audience and wait for them
to settle down. Another way is to just begin making some announcements;
people tend to get quiet when they are trying to hear what you are saying.
If these subtle techniques don’t work, you can usually get everyone
quiet by saying, “Everyone please say shhhhhhhhhhhhh.” Others will
join you in saying it. When it is quiet, wait for a moment, say “thank you,” and begin.
If necessary, tell everyone where the restrooms and emergency
exits are, where to pick up the shuttle bus, where the coffee will be
served, and so on. Make these first – not in the middle of, or after,
Thank those who have helped organize, promote, or administer
If you have some first hand knowledge about the speaker that
the audience would appreciate, this is the time for you to tell them, before
reading the introduction. If you have heard the speaker before, you may be able
to say something like, “I first heard this speaker in _______ and I can
tell you that you’re in for a real treat.” This makes the introduction
more personal and interesting.
This is the final step. Read the introduction as
speaker carefully hones the precise wording of their introduction. It is
crafted to convey who the speaker is, why your audience should listen to
the speaker and how the presentation will benefit them.
Although you may want to appear spontaneous, don’t try to ad lib
or paraphrase. Using words, other than those written, will throw off the
timing and detract from the quality of the introduction. Never make
comments like “they told me I had to read this” or “this is what he
wrote about himself.” While those comments may generate a little
uncomfortable snickering, they undermine the speaker and reduce the value
you will get from your speaker. Read the introduction proudly and with
enthusiasm. Nothing else should be said after introducing the speaker . .
“Tips for an Effective Introduction.” This will help you understand why your
introduction is critical to the success of the program.
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