Many times we are asked to present as professional speakers, but perhaps on a few of those occasions we have someone who doesn’t take the time to prepare to introduce us properly. This post is for all those folks who need a few pointers to strengthen their intro-style so that they WOW not only the crowd, but also the speaker whom they are introducing.
Here are a few tips from CAPS Manitoba President, Rolande Kirouac on what she does to prepare to introduce another speaker as an event emcee…
Rolande believes that the balance between having fun and being professional is crucial. The reason preparation is important is it leaves room for the fun stuff.
Here are a few tips that Rolande has found to be very effective:
- Ask for, and review, the formal Bio provided, in advance, not day-of.
- Interview the speaker you’re introducing, preferably a couple days prior to the event.
- Confirm their biographical information is up-to-date, and master the pronunciation of their name.
- Ask what the one most important fact on the bio is, or what fact they would most like to be shared with the audience. Ideally, you want to extract only two sentences from their formal bio.
- Try to obtain one fun fact about the speaker you are introducing that is somewhat relative to their presentation and the audience. Make the interview fun and simply an informal chat.
- Never read someone’s bio verbatim, as you want to be able to speak to the crowd and make eye contact, using your notes as little as possible.
- Remember you’re the warm-up act.
When you’re the speaker, and you don’t know your introducer well, here are a few more tips from Rolande that you may wish to consider…
- Write your own introduction.
- Keep it brief — an intro should be no more than a minute or two maximum.
- Always meet with the person introducing you beforehand.
- Tell them to speak from the heart.
- If possible, stand beside the person while they are introducing you.
- Always shake hands with the person introducing you.
Encourage the use of any of the above tips the next time you speak by simply providing a link on your Bio Sheet to this blog post.
(please feel free to share your suggestions below)
- How have you set the stage for others to shine?
- What works for you personally?
- What have you seen done well/wrong with introductions in the past?