Speaker Introductions

Introducing a speaker? – follow these five basic guidelines

  1. Address the audience – grab their attention
  2. Refer to the speaker – tell the audience who the speaker is and prepare them by giving some background on the speaker’s experience, qualifications or special interest in the topic
  3. Refer to the topic – this is of great interest to the audience.  It’s what they’ve come for – explain how the topic is relevant to them and how they stand to gain from listening
  4. Make the audience clear on what’s to follow – for example any housekeeping items such as time for questions, handouts, note-taking
  5. Welcome the speaker and lead the applause – indicate for the speaker to approach, step back and lead the applause, welcome the speaker (possibly with a handshake or some other form of acknowledgement), wait for acknowledgement from the speaker, then leave the speaking area and sit down

Make sure to consult with your speaker ahead of time to ask for a prepared introduction or to ask about their topic and what they would like you to say about them.  Do not make the error of telling the audience how funny they are when they have a serious topic.

To your speaking success!

Fran Watson

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