Don’t Drop the Ball on Introductions

Gail Davis, 24 September 2014

The speaker, standing off stage, and I locked eyes. We knew this was not going to be pretty.

In fact, that’s a nice way to say the introduction was a disaster and accomplished two terrible results. First, the audience became confused and disengaged, and second the speaker was forced into a position to reestablish the tone and energy of the room before he even opened his mouth.

Introductions are important because they set the tone for the event, and it’s essential not to drop the ball.

At some point in time, many of us are put in the position of introducing someone. Whether it’s at a major event, business meeting or social occasion here are five easy tips that create a win-win for you and the person you are introducing:

1. Make the Intro Relevant: Connect the dots for the audience as to why the speaker is relevant to an event or topic.

2. Personalize the Intro: Even if you don't know the person, take a few minutes to talk with them so you can weave this into the introduction. Example: I was just talking to speaker x, and she said something that impacted me about why we are all here today….

3. Make it Short: Remember the audience came to hear the speaker; not you, and “less is more” with introductions.

4. Lose the Bios: Never read a speaker bio, it’s a surefire snoozer. Instead, print it in the event program.

5. Help the Speaker: A well planned out introduction can provide a perfect springboard for a speaker to connect with the audience.

At my company, we work closely with our clients and speakers to discuss and carefully plan all elements of the event. Personally, I have never seen anyone do a stellar job when they wing introductions and recommend you avoid it at all costs. Next time you are asked to introduce someone, try to follow these tips. I would love to hear how they worked for you.

Have any tips you want to share?

Gail Davis is Founder and President of GDA Speakers, working with speakers and organizations to create the ultimate customer experience.

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