When you have the opportunity to kick off a speaker’s presentation or speech with their introduction, you have a big responsibility. We have all observed many of these introductions go south as we watch the designated person read the biography word for word, be completely unprepared and stammer around while looking to the speaker for help, read something the speaker sent in an email off their phone, or take a stab at upstaging the speaker on the front end.
If you are introducing me, please ask if I have a short bio. and then ask if it’s o.k. to put the information into your own words and weave it into the message for the program. It’s easy to think an introduction is just about sharing the facts, but it’s much more. The introduction first and foremost establishes that the speaker is credible, but it also establishes the likability of the speaker. I know it seems strange, but if the audience doesn’t like how the introduction goes, they are prepared not to like the speaker.
When I am introduced by someone who sprinkles in appropriate humor, the audience is relaxed and open to my entrance. If my introduction includes information about how my content ties into the program, conference, or meeting, I have another success and have buy in from the audience from one of their own.
On the other hand, if the individual introducing me goes on and on about my background, the audience is bored and tired. If the person introducing me says nothing about my credentials or how my message will meet the needs of this group, the audience members are left wondering why in the heck I am even there to steal their time. Finally, the person introducing me or any speaker should have a true professional presence and excellent presentation skills. This introduction is the first and lasting impression.