Avoid surprises by knowing exactly what is being said about you in your introduction prior to getting up to speak to any audience. The unknown can add to your angst and leave some risks out there for you to then deal with when you come up next. For example, if you are familiar with the introducer, he or she may share anecdotes that duplicate your prepared material. Additionally, the information may not be factually correct if the master of ceremonies did not check with you first. Introductions set the tone for the entire presentation and must be strong to allow for a smooth and effective transition to the featured speaker.
Imagine having a boring or a surprising introduction before you get on. Your shocked face as you approach the lectern or your need to scramble to transition to get back on track may be awkward. In addition to ensuring that your introduction is the way you want it written, you should also invest time with the person introducing you to go over your expectations. You will want to ensure that he or she emphasizes key points you want to be stressed. Early on, I handed my introduction to my presenters with minimal preparation. It didn’t take long to see how many introducers tended to wing it, read my prepared introduction incorrectly, or skip over key facts. At times, I found I needed to invest valuable energy recovering my introduction. The introduction should be considered and written as, a short speech. As a speaker, you should control factors around you, and the introductory speech is one of them.
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
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