Simple strategies for introductions

When you are asked to introduce a main speaker, your task is to do just that, not to take center stage yourself. Follow these guidelines:

  • Keep it brief. For informal gatherings, 30 seconds is plenty of time. For larger events, speak for as long as a minute. For a formal event with an important speaker, speak for up to two minutes.
  • Research. Contact the speaker in advance. Learn what the speech will cover and why it matters to the audience. Also ask about the speaker’s experience, interests and accomplishments to establish the speaker’s credibility.
  • Prepare a three-part outline. Tell audience members why this speaker is talking about this subject at this event. Begin by describing a problem or concern audience members share. Then briefly state how today’s speech will address that issue. End by establishing the speaker’s credentials.
  • Conclude with the speaker’s name, which summons the speaker to come forward. Wait at the podium until the speaker arrives, and then step back, handing the podium over to the speaker.

— Adapted from “How to Introduce a Speaker,” Witt Communications,

One response to “Simple strategies for introductions

  1. I’m more of a writer, but I think we have all watched so much Seinfeld, Louis CK and, well, even the Actors Studio, that our writing is influenced by the various presentations we have seen. I could learn a thing or two about how to connect with my audience by following such clear cut and professionally organised material. It’s good for teachers, too. Thanks.

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