How often are you asked to give a keynote speech? Now, how often are you given the opportunity to introduce a speaker, thank someone for their hard work or present an award? You’re more likely to be asked to give short presentations like these and it’s up to you to make the most of them—to make them compelling and memorable.
Taking advantage of these opportunities can heighten your visibility and give you the competitive edge over others in your field. When I was building my financial planning business, I joined committees that allowed me to have those 1-2 minute “moments in the spotlight” where I either gave a report or, better yet, introduced the keynote speaker. It never failed: I got business every time I spoke.
You can make a powerful impact on the speaker and the audience in such a short period of time. Most people introduce a speaker in one of three ways:
They read the speaker’s bio verbatim, never looking up and never deviating from it no matter how long it is;
They say “Mr. Jones sent me his bio but it’s so long, I’m not going to read it all,” and then proceed to stumble and mumble through reading sections of the bio; or
They—and this is the worst choice of all—say, “Our speaker needs no introduction. Please welcome Mr. Jones.” He may not need one, but he deserves one!
With just a little extra effort your introductions can become legendary.
Follow these steps and wait for the kudos that will come your way for your thoughtful introductions:
Highlight the most pertinent details from the speaker’s bio. If she is speaking on the housing market and she’s been in real estate for 30 years, that’s pertinent information to share.
Choose something personal that makes the speaker stand out from others and share that. If she is the first woman to have done something or if she loves to parachute jump let the audience know. It helps the audience connect on a personal level.
Acknowledge any recognitions or awards she has received that are connected to her topic.Include a personal testimonial—either your own if you know the person or someone else’s. Even if you have to call someone to get that personal recommendation for the speaker, do it.
State what the speaker’s topic is and how the audience will benefit. “After hearing Mary Miller’s presentation on ‘How to Keep Your Home in this Horrible Housing Situation,’ you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief—you don’t have to lose your home. Please welcome Mary Miller!”
Memorize the introduction! This will not take long and will impress the speaker and audience immeasurably. A good introduction takes 1-1 ½ minutes to deliver which you can easily practice and remember.
If you invest some time and effort into your introductions of others, it will pay dividends. You’ll be surprised at the attention your introductions will bring you and your business, simply because others take the easy way out.
Want a competitive advantage? Make a production of your introduction!
Are you interested in learning more about crafting and delivering a powerful introduction?
Contact Amy via email to schedule your coaching session today. Mention you read this article and receive a FREE ½ hour session on introductions.