Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Presenting the Presenter

The Speech of Introduction is very important.  It sets the tone for the speaker and helps the speaker with getting the attention of the audience.  It is critical to know the pronunciation of the speaker's first and family name.  People's names are very important and if you can pronounce their names properly, you will gain the respect of the audience and the speaker.  If you think mispronouncing people's names is no big deal, then go into any town in America and you will see streets, buildings, and hi-ways named after them.  These people work hard and spend their life building their character and contributing to their communities so they can be honored with such recognition.

The main point to learn here, is "practice" your introduction speech.
This is the criteria for the speech of introduction:

Topic:  Simply state the topic first (do not introduce yourself).

Importance:  Why is this topic important to the audience.  The speech must have something in it for the audience.  You have to make the connection for the audience on what benefit they will receive by listening to this speech.

Credibility:  Answer the following questions:  Why should the audience listen to the speaker?  What credentials related to this topic does the speaker possess?  How long has the speaker been involved in this topic?

Name:  Give the Speaker's name very clearly.  Look at the audience when saying the speaker's name, not the speaker.  The speaker already knows her/his name.  It is good to have a pause between the first and family name.  One way to do it, is to look at one side of the audience when stating first name, then look to the other side before you state the family name.  You can also do this technique by looking at the front row of the audience for the first name, then the back of the audience before stating the family name.

Applause: After stating the speaker's name with correct pronunciation, you face the audience and lead the applause (hand clapping).  Then, you turn to the speaker and continue your applause for a brief few seconds.  This shows respect for the speaker.  You then pass the speaker in a prearranged fashion i.e. you shake hands, you smile at each other and pass on the right, you hug, etc.  Whatever you do is fine; however, plan it ahead of time and practice it once.  This will avoid the awkwardness of bumping into each other because one was passing on the right, and the other passing on the left.  Other things that can cause awkwardness, is one holding out a hand for a shake, and the other is so caught up in the moment s/he does not see to accept the handshake, or one planning on a traditional business handshake, and the other going for the bumping of closed fist knuckles, or some other cultural style of handshake.  The type of handshake or hug is not important; however, both knowing and using the same type is important.  Practice and proper performance will add to the credibility of both and avoid any awkwardness if front of an audience.

The introduction should be written by the speaker and given to the introducer far enough in advance for the introducer to have time to practice.  Don't make it difficult for the introducer, thus making the audience uncomfortable if the delivery is rough and clearly not practiced, by giving your introduction card just before your speech.  It shows a lack of preparation and respect by you towards the introducer and the audience

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