Here's a great way to introduce a speaker.

Use this great way to introduce a speaker – it’s more important than you think

Even before you start speaking to an external audience, you should know that good introductions are crucial to effective speeches and presentations because an audience assesses the caliber of a speaker right from the start. This article outlines a great way to introduce a speaker.

A rule of thumb suggests that an audience’s assessment of a speaker is largely formed in the first 30 seconds of a talk or presentation. You can get those 30 seconds off to a good start by a good introduction.

It is remarkable how many hosts ramble when they introduce a speaker – they give so many unnecessary details. In fact, words of introduction are fumbled more than any other aspects of a speech or presentation because the host doesn’t know how to do it well.

Maximum impact comes from a concise introduction, when the audience is told why the speaker was invited. This approach cuts out the long winded background information served up in many introductions. The safest approach for an introduction is to write a script, as below, to give or email to the host organization beforehand. By doing this, you succeed with a great way to introduce a speaker.

Introducing your speaker creates extra credibility for them

Immediately, you add more credibility for your speaker as well as strengthening your audience’s positive perception of them because you are giving your own ‘third-party credibility‘ to your speaker. They are not taking the audience’s time to introduce themself; you are doing it for them in your concise words of introduction. Third-party credibility is a form of social proof. It comprises stated support by an external party in the form of a testimonial or endorsement for another person – in this case, your speaker. It is based on people’s tendency to value the opinion and/or expertise of another person — a third party – more than from a speaker introducing themself. 

Formula for a great way to introduce a speaker

  1. Be brief. It’s not necessary to speak for more than one minute – preferably less.
  2. Speak informally – as you would to good friends.
  3. Be enthusiastic about your task. Make your introduction sparkle. You owe it to the person you are introducing and to your audience to be animated in your brief talk. Act as though it is a real privilege to introduce this speaker – feel happy about it – talk with real excitement.
  4. Be warm and sincere – above all!

Effective one-minute introductions

Here is a proven TIS formula to use for one-minute (around 150-200 words) introductions:

T (Topic)

Firstly, refer to the topic, giving the exact title of the speech or presentation.

  • “Today we are here to listen to this talk on ‘How to avoid mistakes in pitching stories to reporters.”

I (Importance)

Tell the audience why this topic is relevant and adds value to them – answering the audience’s question, “What’s in it for me?”

  • “In the latest industry survey last month, senior reporters generally said they receive 50-75 pitches each day from PR professionals. In surveys on this topic, reporters say they don’t use up to 95% of those pitches. The pitches fail for three main reasons. Since we are all in the same profession, we are eager to learn how we can avoid these three pitfalls and keep our pitch rate as successful as possible.”
  • Include a tight, tangible example or real-life, brief summary of a relevant case. Make it very short! For example, “Last week, during a quick chat with me, a senior journalist confirmed the wasted time for all involved from the lazy approach of ‘spraying’ media pitches. He supported our speaker’s view on how media pitches can be done better.”

S (Speaker)

Tell the audience why your speaker or presenter has the credentials to speak – their qualifications and experience. As the final words of your introduction, give the speaker’s name and their job title or equivalent. Be sure to say it clearly and distinctly.

Imagine you are due to introduce John Smith, a corporate affairs manager, as speaker at a business lunch. You can use the formula to introduce them or you can write out this script using the TIS formula for the host to introduce them. You can’t go wrong with this (unless you read it verbatim in a clumsy way!):

  • “Our speaker has had a distinguished career in corporate affairs management. His corporate team is rated among the best in this city, and he is on the State board of the PRSA. Mr Smith [“John” if it is an informal function] has reviewed the report and has some important advice for us today.
    Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome [pause]: JOHN SMITH!”

Several speakers

If there is a succession of speakers at, for instance, a seminar, you can adapt the formula to introduce later speakers along these lines:

T “The topic of our next speaker is….”

I “This topic is important/of great interest to us because…”

S “Our speaker has great depth of experience in this field because…” etc. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome…BILL PATTERSON!”

Further thoughts

Kim Harrison

Kim J. Harrison has authored, edited, coordinated, produced and published the material in the articles and ebooks on this website. He brings his experience in professional communication and business management to provide helpful insights to readers around the world. As he has progressed through his wide-ranging career, his roles have included corporate affairs management; PR consulting; authoring many articles, books and ebooks; running a university PR course; and business management. Kim has received several international media relations awards and a website award. He has been quoted in The New York Times and various other news media, and has held elected positions with his State and National PR Institutes.

Content Authenticity Statement. AI is not knowingly used in the writing or editing of any content, including images, in these newsletters, articles or ebooks. If AI-produced content is contained in any published form in future, this will be reported to readers.

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