Creating an Impressive Introduction
Just as a tasty appetizer prepares one for a great meal, a carefully planned introduction can whet the appetite of the audience before a speaker comes to the podium or platform. The introduction should not include the details of the speech, but should list a few of the speaker’s accomplishments and perhaps some interesting personal information.
The Master of Ceremonies (M.C.) sets the mood by “warming up” the audience with remarks chosen to highlight the speaker’s credibility and further spark curiosity. A written introduction provided by the speaker is best, and it should be practiced by the M.C. off stage, to ensure the speaker’s name, and any other unfamiliar words, are pronounced correctly.
The inflection and articulation used when announcing the speaker’s name are important. The name should be stated clearly and the voice should rise in pitch and volume on the last part of the name for emphasis. The MC should be mentally thinking, “drum roll, please …” and then “May I present …”
Timing and stage direction are important. The speaker should enter on cue and the direction in which he will enter and exit should be predetermined. For example, if the speaker approaches from the left, he should exit on the right. The speaker should briefly thank the M.C. and be ready to give his presentation.
The speaker should remember that first impressions are made before approaching the podium, and while awaiting to speak, the audience is observing. A positive attitude and confident disposition starts with both introducer and speaker before the speaker starts to move to take the microphone.
Example of an effective Introduction
Jennifer L. Brubaker
For more than 30 years, Jennifer L. Brubaker has been a community and business leader with a concentration on sales, marketing and professional writing. She recently added an exciting new chapter to her career by establishing a nonprofit organization called the Women’s Business Benefits Foundation. The foundation allows business women to have a variety of benefits including affordable health insurance. You will hear more about this from Jennifer in just a few minutes.
Jennifer is a business teacher at the University of South Florida in Tampa and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in communications from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, as well as a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from the University of South Florida. In order to keep life from kicking her in the pants, Jennifer has earned three belts in Tae Kwon Do and loves to challenge other martial artists. She also enjoys gardening and often spends her “down time” curled up with a good book and her cat Oliver.
So remember to get your event off to a great start with an impressive introduction that really sets the table.
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To Your Speaking Success!
Joe Yazbeck, Founder, President
Prestige Leadership Advisors