19 Oct Top tips for a WOW speaker introduction

Have you ever dozed off politely while your MC read out a long, boring, uninspiring list of the upcoming speaker’s credentials resulting in a complete lack of interest in the speaker, the subject matter, and the session in general! Let’s make sure this is not you!

There are four main objectives when you are introducing a speaker.

  • Attract the audience’s attention.
  • Spark interest and anticipation in what’s coming up.
  • Build the credibility of the speaker.
  • Reinforce or establish your own credibility and the credibility of your business.

Here are my top tips for introducing a speaker.

  1. Research the speaker before you meet them. Call them or meet them if possible and have a conversation about what they will be talking about and what they plan to achieve with the audience.
  2. Ensure that the intro you write is punchy, interesting and builds the credibility of the speaker. If you have been given something to read out by the speaker, check that it fulfills the purpose of an intro and ask permission to change it if you think you need to.
  3. Ensure you know how to pronounce the speaker’s name and details.
  4. Learn the intro before the day. Ensure that you are able to deliver most, if not all of the intro to the audience without reading it. Professional speakers don’t read from notes. Professional MCs don’t either.
  5. Look up and smile at your audience before you speak.
  6. Think of a catchy icebreaker, fact, statistic or something that you can deliver to kick- off proceedings and make sure you cleverly link that icebreaker to the role you are playing today.
  7. Look at everyone (one at a time) with direct, connected eye contact.
  8. Speak clearly and slowly and breathe deeply between your sentences.
  9. Smile throughout and keep your energy high, enthusiastic, engaging.
  10. Ensure you are true to yourself. Be authentic and natural and be sure to reduce exaggeration in your gestures, voice and content.
  11. Don’t talk about yourself. It’s to about you. You should really be invisible!
  12. Don’t make excuses for anything about the event, the room, the speaker, your nerves – you are there to introduce the speaker.
  13. Build your energy to a peak.
  14. Remember to tell your audience to clap their hands for the speaker and ensure you clap your hands too.
  15. Shake the hand of the speaker as they arrive on stage.
  16. Pay good attention while they are speaking. Your job isn’t done until the speaker has finished, you’ve summaries their key points and given them a second LOUD applause!