Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Introduction

I'm introducing a speaker at a community event this morning.

When given such a task, I always follow these ground rules:

  • Remember they came to hear the speaker, not the person introducing the speaker.
  • Omit anything that might be remotely embarrassing to the speaker or to anyone in the audience.
  • Mention the topic but don't go further into the subject. That is the speaker's realm and you don't want to infringe on any turf. [I once saw an introduction that included an amusing story. Unfortunately, that same story was a key part of the speaker's presentation.]
  • Don't set the bar too high in your description of the speaker's knowledge or eloquence. Doing so makes it all the harder to please the audience.
  • Keep it short and then fade away. The speaker is the star.


Kurt Harden said...
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Kurt Harden said...

I was to speak briefly at a recent business event and the fellow who introduced me told the audience that I was one of the funniest people he knew. Nice bar-setting, given that the script I was given consisted of a series of introductions that didn't allow for much humor. I'll send your useful advice to him.