My mother took great relish in introducing me as 'This is my son - he's a doctor but not the kind that helps people.'
~ Randy Pausch
Introductions should be brief. If you are a presenter, or you are introducing a speaker, please do not read the person’s biography. Refuse to do it. Embrace simplicity or abandon the formal introduction fully.
Believe it or not, an engaging introduction can be an important part of a powerful presentation. And, a bad introduction is often a sad start for a presenter who has to first recover from the introduction and second has to attempt to engage an audience after that recovery.
An effective introduction should be REAL, meaning the introducer simply, and only covers the:
~Reason for the talk/presentation/training. Welcome people, and let them know what the topic is.
~Examples of the importance of the topic. State 2-4 reasons someone will want to listen to the presentation.
~Acknowledgement of the speaker’s credentials and name. Share 2-4 relevant facts about the speaker that will enhance the presenter’s credibility and pique the audience’s interest. Clearly and confidently state the name of the speaker/presenter last, with a pause between the last comment and the first name and a quick pause between the presenter’s first and last name.
~Leading the applause. As soon as you finish the presenter’s name to the audience (which is done while facing the audience.
You then turn to face the presenter as you start to applaud loudly and rapidly to indicate others can follow (and they will!).
An example of “keeping it REAL” for an effective introduction is:
Welcome to the Presenting Powerfully workshop (R)!
It is important we learn to present confidently and professionally, gain tips and tools for connecting with the audience, and that we get our messages across effectively (E).
Our speaker comes to us as an 11-time published author, performance coach, etiquette columnist for Tampa Bay Business & Wealth Magazine, and a member of the National Speakers Association. Please welcome your expert on presentation prowess, Debbie Lundberg (A).
Applaud immediately (L)