First of all you need to understand that this type of public speaking makes a lot of people nervous. That's because in some ways it can seem harder than a full speech, since you only have a minute or two at the most. It's not a lot of time for you to really relax and enjoy the experience.
It's normally done really, really badly too! Which is great for you, because you'll be the pro, showing them how it should be done.
It's a shame people get worried about these introductions because it can be a lot of fun ... I mean you get a lot of applause for a little effort!
Remember Rule Number 3 Of Speaking
Rule 3: Don't be boring!
What about the other rules? There are no other rules!
Make your introduction memorable and make it achieve its purpose ... which is to get the audience in a state of mind where they're eager to hear what the speaker has to say (not what you have to say).
Write Your Introduction As A Speech
A wise man once said that the secret to public speaking was this.
Have a great start.
Have a great finish.
Put the two as close together as possible.
That's exactly how to do a good Introduction Speech.
Get their attention at the start by being friendly and relaxed.
I always inject a bit of humor straight away if I can. It gets the audience relaxed and it settles me down too.
A hint that has never failed to serve me well, is to simply walk out, say hello to the audience, smile and pause. Guess what will happen? They'll smile back! That feels good. You'll relax right away.
Then if you like, you ask them how they are. Pause again while they respond. Then either get into your introduction or, if you're feeling cheeky, say this ... "And the rest of you?" ... (because only a few will respond when you ask them how they are). It gets a laugh every time.
In the middle of your introduction, explain why this topic, why this speaker and why the audience needs to pay attention.
Always finish in more or less the same way - "And now ladies and gentlemen please join me in giving a warm welcome to our guest speaker, Mr Jo Bloggs". This is the first and only time you mention the speaker's name.
Very important ... once you've finished, the audience is applauding and the guest is walking onstage stand still and wait for the speaker to reach you and shake their hand before leaving the stage. Never, ever, ever walk off in one direction while the speaker is coming on in the other. Wait for them and give them a huge smile and an encouraging handshake before you depart.
Be sincere; Be brief; Be seated.
So said Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was right.
You've got only a minute or two.
Finally...be excited about the speaker. If you can't get excited then get someone else to introduce them.
Enough theory already! It's time for the first of our ...
Exercise: Introducing A Speaker
Write an introduction speech for a guest speaker who you admire. It might be someone you know well, or it could be a famous person. You invent the topic and if necessary make up their credentials.
Write an introduction for yourself. Imagine you are to give a speech on a topic that you're passionate about. How would you like to be introduced? (Keep this handy by the way because you'll need it one day soon :)
Video yourself doing either of your introduction speeches.
Upload it to You Tube.
Submit your video by filling out the form right below this box.
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Just type the story of your video in the Form below. Also make sure you include the You Tube embed code for your video.
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Then you just sit back and enjoy the constructive feedback you'll get!