Introducing a speaker may be the shortest speeches you give, but still an important responsibility. It is probably the most difficult aspect of public speaking. The main reason behind this is we often fail to determine the objective, the purpose and the desired result.
When you know you have to introduce a speaker, you must take the following steps:
Like any other public speaking project, an introduction to the speaker also needs preparation. The introducer needs to know the title of the speech, the slant the speaker will take, some relevant facts about them, and the type of audience they will be addressing. The audience is not there to hear you. You are there to set the stage for the speaker by giving this mini-speech.
Talk to the speaker before you introduce him. Get a printed copy of the introduction. Ask the speaker if you must read it as is. Contact the speaker beforehand to give accurate information to the audience. It can be embarrassing for a speaker to have to correct inaccurate facts.
Read it for understanding and correcting the pronunciation. Read it out load several times as you always do in public speaking so that you only need to give a glance at the beginning of every phrase. Get it printed in bold letters or as is comfortable to you and underline the key words.
2. Purpose of Introduction
The purpose of an introduction is to introduce the speaker and the audience to each other and to establish a bonding between them.
Remember it by thinking “TIS”.
Topic – What will the speaker talk about?
Importance – Why this topic for this audience?
Speaker – Who the speaker is and why this speaker for this topic?
Mention the topic or title, the relevancy to the audience and the speaker’s background and credentials. Our duty in public speaking is to increase the interest, attention and anticipation of the audience. This would give the speaker a pleased audience that would be anticipated and attentive.
Although it’s a mini-speech – about 1 or 2 minutes long – but it should contain all the elements of a full speech – an opening, a body and a conclusion.
OPENING i.e. when you address the audience. You need to take hold of their attention. You can start off with a question, a startling statistic or a quote.
Wait for the audience to be quiet before you begin to speak. It must be heard by all.
BODY- It should tell the audience who the speaker is and prepare them by giving some background on the speaker’s experience, and a little about the topic he is going to speak on. What’s in it for the audience? Why should they listen to the speaker? Why is the speaker entitled to provide this speech on a particular topic? What is his or her experience with the subject?
CONCLUSION is where you welcome the speaker, lead the applause and take your seat.
You are giving a mini speech. One of the most important rule of public speaking: be positive and so when you move towards the lectern look positive. Look confident and have a smile on your face. Pause until you have everyone’s attention. Look at the audience, proudly state your name and point out that you are privileged to introduce today’s speaker.
Although you may mention the speaker’s name early in the introduction be sure to close your introduction with it. “And now to speak to us on how to be a good public speaker”, (pause) “please welcome, (pause) Anurag (short pause) Aggarwal!”
Introducing a speaker – some tips.
* The entire introduction should only last about 1 to 2 minutes. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
* A good introduction should not go over two or three minutes.
*Be accurate. You should be in no doubt that you have the correct facts about the speaker.
* The last words spoken are the name of the speaker.
*Make definite that you know the pronunciation of their name correctly.
*Be sincere. The speaker and the audience must feel by your gestures that you are looking forward to the talk.
*Be aware of the occasion and the audience – Eg. If you want to add humor, make sure it’s appropriate.
* When you are the introducer, pay close attention to everything that happens prior to your part in the programme.
* It’s also important to be civil, eager and when the introduction is over lead the applause.
* Don’t praise yourself too much.
* Don’t give the speaker’s life story.
At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking’ you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development , Presentation Skills and Communication Skills. In this course you will be trained in all the above mentioned things and others that are needed to have outstanding public speaking skills. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com
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