5 tips for a striking speaker introduction

These brief addresses can be challenging, but they are essential to setting an audience’s first impression of a featured speaker—and can offer you a chance to shine, as well.

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Speech introductions are often mindless and ineffective—and that’s a missed opportunity.

You see them at nearly all speaking events, from casual business presentations to large conferences. In these scenarios, a featured or keynote speaker is introduced by someone else. This extends hospitality to a visiting speaker, informs the audience of the speaker’s credibility and shows a level of respect or esteem for the speaker.

If you are asked to handle this responsibility, seize the moment. These short speeches afford you valuable experience in front of an audience. If you follow these five tips, you’ll find that an introduction can be simple to prepare and deliver:

1. Get the audience’s attention. Maybe another speaker has just finished her message, or perhaps there was a meal or a meet-and-greet beforehand. Make sure your segue matches the context of the event and aligns with the next speaker’s tone. It’s not your job to be the highlight of the event or a standup comedian—especially if the incoming speaker will address a serious topic. Help the audience transition with an interesting opening statement or a gracious “thank you” to those in attendance, and then shine the spotlight on the speaker to come.

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