One of the worst things that can happen when you give a speech is someone winging the introduction. Did you know that the intro is almost important as your speech?
In a moment, I’ll give you some professional intro techniques that you can use!
Hi, I’m Bryan Toder, The No Fear Guy, and if you don’t have a good introduction ready-to-go when you get up to speak before an audience that doesn’t know you, you’re screwed.
I remember a few times (and this happens to just about anyone at one time or another) when — even after I handed them my intro, they decided to wing it or said something like, “We have someone who wants to say something… he’ll introduce himself, but first…” and then they go off on some boring unrelated story that loses your audience for good.
Then, it’s up to you to rescue the speech, but, in most cases… it’s over before you started.
So, have a written introduction. Here’s how to do it:
1. At the top of the page write, “Please read this introduction as is, with no changes. Thank you!” Really, actually type that on there. You’ll thank me later.
2. Type, “Our speaker tonight… [in this SHORT paragraph is where you tell them about yourself.]” Notice you have NOT mentioned your name yet. Don’t mention your name until the end!
3. The last paragraph is “To talk to you about [your subject] here is [your name]!
The key to a good introduction is to keep it brief and causing the audience to want to know more. Never give your name during the introduction—until the end.
If you want to hear some great intros, watch any talk show. They follow the same formula above.
It is best to have your intro written out in BIG, clear fonts like 21 point, Times Roman. Put some space between the lines; 1.5 is good.
If your name is odd or hard to pronounce, spell it out phonetically. And, type your name in BOLD and at least 30 point type!
If you can print it on heavy card stock (so they don’t fold it into a tiny square and lose it) even better!
Before your speech, email them a copy. You should know who is introducing you. If you don’t, send it to the person who booked you.
In the “real world”, have an EXTRA copy to give to them before you go on. Ask (and if you don’t do this, I can guarantee that they WILL screw this up!) who is introducing you. If you get confusing answers, gently press for a real answer. “Maybe Barb is giving the intro, I don’t know…” isn’t what you want.
Oh, if they say they are going to “wing it” (and many do!), TELL them nicely that you’d prefer if they use your written introduction without any changes.
All that said, prepare for them to mess it up anyway. If you follow my advice, you’ll be fine 95 percent of the time, but they will leave it at their seat, they’ll be drunk, they will think they are witty and try to make jokes with your intro… almost anything can happen.
But, if you have your intro ready-to-go, you’ll be 1000 percent better off if you didn’t have one!
Got any comments? Leave them in the box below and I’ll see you next week on Fearless Friday!
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