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  • How to Introduce a Speaker and How to Be Introduced

    David Greenberg, How to Introduce a Speaker and How to Be Introduced

    The speaker introduction is an often overlooked, but vitally important part of setting the stage for a successful presentation.

    When you accept an invitation to speak it is usually in your best interest to provide the person introducing you with your own introduction. I suggest using a double-spaced, large font, bulleted list of facts you want the introducer. Send your introduction a few days before the presentation to give your introducer time to practice. Most introducers will be glad you volunteered to take care of this important detail. 

    Think of it as a "sin" to poorly introduce a speaker and use the "SIN" formula to ensure your introductions are effective:

    S = Subject: State the subject or title of the presentation. 

    I = Importance: State why the subject is important to the audience, and state why the speaker is important (the speaker's credentials). 

    N = Name: State the speaker's name (spell it phonetically in your notes). 

    Here's an example:

    Subject:"Our next presenter will tell us about an exciting new tool that can make each of our jobs easier! This afternoon, we will explore the advantages of replacing our old accounting software system."

    Importance: "This presentation will be important to each of you because each of you uses the accounting system, to either enter data or generate reports. We know you'll want to be part of the decision-making process." 

    "Our presenter is highly qualified to recommend a new system. He is a Certified Public Accountant. He has been with our company for ten years, and has worked with our current accounting system for five of those years. He knows first-hand how we operate, and he has spent the last three months reviewing our needs and speaking with several accounting software manufacturers."

    Name: "Help me welcome Division Manager Stan Czachowski."(Spelled phonetically in notes "Cha-how-ski")  

    Here are some extra tips:

    • Tip #1. Practice. Read the introduction out loud a few times before show time. 
    • Tip #2. Lead the applause and greet the speaker. Audiences are sometimes reluctant to applaud, so get it started. Greet the speaker with a handshake, then sit within eye contact of the speaker for possible cues.
    • Tip #3. Be ready when the speaker is finished. Stand, lead the applause, return to the front of the room, shake the speaker's hand, and thank him or her for the presentation.
    • Tip #4. The best introductions are brief. It's not your life's biography. If you want the group to have your bio, give them a printed document.
    • Tip #5. A little appropriate humor and personalization can help build quick rapport. Don't be afraid to include a fact or two that shed a little light on who you are, rather than just the business facts.
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