When your job isn’t to give a speech but to announce or recognize award recipients, you still need to prepare. Follow these tips to ensure that your recognition event is worthy of those you’re recognizing:
- Review the names aloud. As Dale Carnegie wrote, “A man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” You don’t want mess up something that important! It doesn’t matter if you will be reading one name or a whole graduating class: Practice saying them out loud until you are perfectly comfortable with the pronunciations. I like this tip from The Organized Executive’s Blog: Call the recipient’s work phone after hours. You can hear the way he says the name in his own voice and call back as many times as you need to feel confident.
- Decide how to handle applause. If you will be reading a list of names, you might want to ask the audience to hold their applause until the end. That way no one’s name will be drowned out by the previous person’s fan club. If you don’t do that—or if the audience ignores your request—pause between each name long enough for the noise to die down. Note: Know a bit about your audience before you start: Are they more likely to rowdily cheer on the winners or quietly “golf clap” for them?
- Remember, you are not the star of the show. No matter how good a speaker you are, keep in mind that the audience isn’t there to see you. They are there to honor the award recipients. Keep the focus on them and make your introduction brief.
Do you know of a new manager or supervisor who deserves some recognition? Nominate him or her for a 2011 Bud to Boss Award. But hurry! The cutoff for nominations is Dec. 16, 2011!