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What’s the secret to great speaker introductions?

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Warwick Merry on the secret to great speaker introductions
Most speaker introductions are not that great.

Ahhhh…it feels good to get that off my chest.

Now I don’t say that to attack speakers, bureaus or event hosts in general. It’s simply a challenging balancing act to do, and most people struggle with it – even if you are simply introducing yourself at a networking function.

Writing about yourself can be a challenge. Look at so many LinkedIn profiles and in the “About” section, it can be … interesting! (Mine included.)

At a recent conference, I had to do some last-minute changes to introductions to the breakout sessions. All I had was the name of the topic due to some last-minute changes. When I ran the introduction past the speakers, they loved it!

In fact, over the past week I have had about five speakers ask to keep the introductions I created so they could use them again.

I am not saying this to brag about how good my introductions are, only to highlight that there is an art to a great introduction. So, what is the secret to a great introduction?

Here it is: it is not about you!

Too often speaker introductions are cut and pasted from LinkedIn or they repeat the bio information that is in the conference program. Let’s be honest – delegates can read it for themselves and they are not really interested in it all.

Great introductions are about the audience. What’s in it for them? What will they get from the session? Why should they care? What will make them sit up and pay attention?

After that, you can share one or two lines about the speaker’s “right to speak” or credibility piece, and then maybe a funny one liner. I often introduce myself as the Under 8 Yarram Swimming Club Champion.

What can you do to make your introductions less about you speakers and more about your delegates or the people they are speaking to?

A great introduction makes a big difference.

Sing out if you need some help.

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