How to Give Outstanding Speaker Introductions in Five Easy Steps

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Writing an introduction for a speaker is similar to writing a speech. Structure your introduction to include an opening, a body and a conclusion. To give an outstanding introduction, familiarize yourself with the speaker and the topic beforehand so that you can speak with authority. You can then use five easy steps to write your introduction and perform it, acquainting your audience with the person who will be taking the stage and setting the mood for the speech to follow.

Contact the speaker before you write the introduction. Ask him what his speech is about and why it's appropriate for the audience. Ask about his qualifications to speak on the subject and any other background information that will help you convey his authority to the audience. For example, ask about his education, professional degrees, honors, awards, outstanding accomplishments and interests that have a bearing on the subject of his speech. Ask how to pronounce his name to avoid embarrassment.

Write your introduction. Begin with a question that the speaker's words will answer, a problem that his speech will address or a common experience that he will expand upon. Add a touch of humor if it's appropriate. For example, "Dr. Jones hates to pay income taxes as much as the rest of us. This evening, he's going to tell us how to ease the pain." Continue with a brief background, giving the speaker's qualifications. Include any significant details that establish his credibility. Don't tell the audience that the speaker is going to give a "great speech" or use broad adjectives like "wonderful." Stick to the facts. End by giving the speaker's name, which is his cue to take the podium.

Memorize your introduction. Even though you'll have notes with you, you'll be more confident if you know your material thoroughly. Practice your speech out loud several times. Ask a friend to listen to your introduction and give you feedback on your diction and pronunciation.

Be confident when you take the stage. Look at the audience, single out several people and make eye contact with each one for five to 10 seconds. Smile. Adjust the microphone and read over your notes.

Give the introduction you've written. After you say the speaker's name, wait for him to arrive at the podium. Shake hands and move away so that he can take his place behind the podium.