You’ve worked really hard planning and preparing for your presentation and you are READY! On the day of your presentation, you’re eager to educate, entertain and inspire the audience, none of whom have had a chance to meet you. You are confident that you will make an unforgettable first impression. Then your introducer begins…
Let’s stop for a moment. What will they say? Will they read your bio/CV? Will they throw out ‘fun facts’ they found in a Google search? Will they ‘wing it’ and try to be funny and light-hearted to create what THEY think might be a good atmosphere? If you don’t know PRECISELY what they will say, then you have NO IDEA how you will be received. BEFORE YOU SAY A WORD, make sure that YOU SET UP YOUR SUCCESS. How?
WRITE YOUR OWN INTRODUCTION!
That’s right. Your introduction should prepare the audience to receive your message before you say a word, before you even take the virtual or physical platform. You don’t have to be a professional speaker to have a professional introduction, and there are SEVEN basic steps to preparing an effective introduction.
1. SPEAK TO THE PURPOSE
You have been selected to speak to this audience, at this time, about this subject, for a reason. Acknowledging it shows the audience that you are there for THEM.
2. SHARE THE CREDENTIALS
Let them know why you are qualified to talk about the topic. You don’t have to list EVERY educational accomplishment, every job title you’ve held, and every undergraduate and post-graduate double major and minor under your belt. They only need enough to know that you are qualified.
3. SHOW THE EXPERIENCE
Experience and credentials are different. My credentials include World Champion of Public Speaking, but my EXPERIENCE includes speaking to organizations and coaching individuals on 5 continents. Credentials say “I’ve learned it”; experience says, “I’ve DONE it!”
4. SET THE EXPECTATION
Let the audience know what to expect, and the value of what they will receive. They are there to receive the benefit of your wisdom, insight and experience. This should call back to, and connect with, your purpose for being there.
5. SAY THE SPEECH TITLE
Your speech title should speak to the audience’s need, and be interesting enough to draw them in with the promise of answering their questions and solving their problem.
6. SEEK THE APPLAUSE
This is the invitation for the audience to join in the applause as your introducer welcomes you to the platform.
7. STATE THE NAME
Have your introducer say your name LAST. Your name is your cue to take the platform, and your audience will be primed to receive your message.
HERE’S THE INTRODUCTION I USE FOR A PRESENTATION ON ‘PLATFORM MASTERY’, WITH THE 7 STEPS IDENTIFIED IN RED.
(1) Have you ever noticed that some presenters struggle on stage, while others truly SHINE? Do you ever wish you knew their secrets?
Here’s some good news: help has arrived!
(2) In 1995, Mark Brown ‘out-spoke’ more than 20,000 international contestants to win the World Championship of Public Speaking. Since then, he has dedicated himself to achieving excellence on the platform, and to helping others do the same.
(3) As a professional speaker and executive speaking coach, he has mastered the simple yet powerful techniques that have served him and his fellow professional speakers for decades…the same techniques that he teaches to emerging speakers, corporate CEOs, and experienced professionals.
(4) During this highly interactive program, he will pull back the curtain and reveal proven strategies that will help you to command the stage and master the platform.
(5) For his program entitled ‘PLATFORM MASTERY’,
(6) please help me welcome the 1995 World Champion of Public Speaking and Certified Speaking Professional,
(7) Mark Brown!
ONE MORE THING…
Send your introduction to the Master of Ceremonies in advance…AS A PDF. Why? A Word document can be edited; a PDF cannot…well…not as easily. I recommend a font no smaller that 14pt. I also recommend double-spacing for ease of reading. By the way…your introduction should fit on one page. If it’s longer, it’s too long. ALWAYS bring 2 copies with you, just in case the MC misplaces their copy, or it gets soiled by a spilled beverage, or…you get the idea.
You HAVE worked hard on your presentation, so prepare your own introduction.
Before you say a word, SET UP YOUR SUCCESS!
DREAM BIG; WORK BIGGER!