Introductions – 101

The Actual Introduction

The introduction is where your audience forms their first impression about you. Although it is only a small part of your entire presentation, it is here that you can either grab your audience or totally turn them off. It should have five things:

1. An “attention getter”. Never assume the audience is ready to listen to what you have to say. It’s your job to focus their attention on you and your subject.

2. Give the audience a reason to listen. WII-FM — what’s in it for me – the audience.

3. Get your audience in the proper frame of mind, IE. serious, joking, entertaining.

4. Establishes the speakers credentials.

5. Tell the audience the central idea. One of the worst things you can do is to keep your audience guessing about what the speaker is trying to say.

The Speaker

– If you are going to speak to a new group, write your own introduction!
Make it short and to the point. This is the first time the audience gets to hear anything about you, so make sure you make a good impression.

– Ask the introducer to practice reading the introduction ahead of time.

– Send it typewritten and double spaced ahead of time to the person who will read it.
Use a large font so that it is easy to read. Many times lighting around a lectern is poor.

– Ask that it be read, as is. Many introducers like to ad-lib.
Reinforce to them the importance of reading the introduction that you wrote.

– Bring extra copies with you.  The introducer will probably forget theirs.

– Tell the introducer how to pronounce your name.
Write it out phonetically if your name is difficult.

– Always close with – “Please help me welcome __________”


The Introducer

– If the speaker doesn’t have an introduction already prepared, you need to spend some time with him/her ahead of time. If possible talk to the speaker on the phone and see what he/she wants used in the introduction.

– Get all the background information about the speaker.

– Construct your introduction just like a mini speech, with a beginning, body and closing.

– Stay away from the joke filled introduction unless the speaker is giving a humorous speech or you know the audience well.

– Try to memorize as much of the introduction as possible.

– Pause long enough to get the audiences attention, then speak with energy and warmth.

– Don’t give the speakers speech.

–  End with a nice touch like, “Please join me in welcoming…”and then lead the applause.

–  Wait for the speaker to arrive, shake hands and leave to the side.

Introduction Form

Speakers Name
Our speaker today is
(Get the pronunciation correct.)

_____________________________is talking on






WII-FM_______ Why the audience should listen.



Personal Information


The title of his/her speech is:


Please help me welcome _____________________________________

(Lead the applause, stay at the lectern and shake hands with the speaker.)

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