Whether you are being introduced, or you are introducing someone, getting the introduction right makes all the difference in a presentation.
As a professional networker and speaker, I have had the opportunity to hear thousands of introductions over the years, some were for me, most for other presenters. The most common thing about all of these introductions was that the presenter, the MC, was not prepared and delivered a poor and inadequate introduction, and didn’t engage the audience.
Most speakers or presenters are not professionals, and poor introductions make their task of delivering an informative talk or a presentation to create action by persuading you to a particular point of view, very difficult.
Even professional speakers get “put off” by introductions that give inaccurate facts about them; getting their name wrong, (YES, this happens more often than you think); or they have to step up after an introduction where the introducer has delivered an “off-coloured” joke by way of introducing a speaker… these things can be very off-putting.
Now I know what you’re thinking… you’re thinking that that’s no big deal, what’s so important about an introduction.
My answer to you is… everything!
Whether you are addressing a networking function, your sales group, being an MC at an engagement or wedding or any number of opportunities for speaking engagements, an introduction is extremely important.
In fact, the introduction is a speech all its own. It may rarely be longer than a minute, but it serves to engage the audience with specific information about the topic to be presented, the qualifications and credentials of the speaker and give the audience the speakers correct name.
The introduction is designed to grab the audience’s attention and make them more receptive to the speakers talk and message.
The best and simplest way to create an awesome introduction is preparation.
Whether it’s for a Featured Presentation to a networking group, like NRG, Business Network International, BforB or Business Referral Exchange etc, or a presentation to your local Chamber of Commerce, or introducing a speaker at Rotary, Apex or Lions club, preparation is the key.
Follow this simple formula, and you can’t go wrong:
Always start your introduction by giving the exact topic of the speakers presentation. Find out from the Speaker, the name of their presentation.
Unfortunately, many speakers don’t give a lot of thought to topic names, however, this process always helps the speaker to create a more focused presentation when they are speaking to a specific topic.
- Create a level of importance and relevance, let your audience know WHY the topic is important to them, what they will learn and what the benefit is to them in listening to the Speaker.
- Next, make it about the Speaker. List their qualifications and credentials… keep this simple, accurate and not too long.
- This allows the presenter the opportunity to get to the meat of their presentation rather than waste time talking about themselves.
- In the delivery of an introduction, remember to be enthusiastic. Your enthusiasm with a well-prepared introduction will do these important things:
- Engage the audience and warm them to the presenter, and their topic.
- Makes the presenter more comfortable and relaxed so that they can give a great presentation that the audience deserves.
- And lastly, the hidden element… YOU as the introducer are looked on favourably as a professional who is thorough, enthusiastic and caring.
Remember, introductions are as important as the presentation itself. They can make or break a presentation.
Accuracy – Brevity – Enthusiasm.
These are the keys to an awesome introduction.