Giving Good Introductions

Introducing someone? Remember W-E-B!

WEB: for Warmth, Expertise and Brevity.

It’s all you need to remember when you are asked to introduce a speaker. Go heavy on the Warmth, moderate on the Expertise, tight on Brevity. Your job is to build enthusiasm and anticipations.

W – for Warmth:

If you feel good about the speaker, the audience will. What is interesting about him/her? What is incredible, amusing, surprising or inspiring about her accomplishments? If you’ve never met him, what did he say in a telephone call you might make? Your experience of the speaker, warmly expressed, is vital to building the energy of friendly anticipation in the audience.

E – for Expertise:

Enough to qualify the speaker to speak on his topic. Don’t rehash her whole resume or overstate her accomplishments – this is where most introductions fall flat. Weave her expertise into the topic of the speech, so the audience is primed to listen with interest.

B – for Brevity:

From 30 seconds to 2 minutes, tops. This means you’ll have to begin highly energized, rehearse for time, and err on the side of short vs. long.

More Tips:

  • Use the speaker’s name at least twice, fully pronouncing clearly.
  • Always interview him/her ahead of time so your connection is personalized.
  • If the speaker is “too important” to be personally interviewed, ask others who know him/her for interesting sidelights that make him come alive.
  • Smile, really smile broadly, when you ask the audience to welcome ….! You yourself then warmly welcome the speaker to the lectern or spotlight area – never desert the space before she gets there.

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