Every speaker should be properly introduced. Speeches of introduction should be graceful, humorous, and fun…fun to hear and fun to give. An excellent introduction is necessary to a speech and speaker, as an attractive, pleasant waiting room is for business or professional person; it helps the speaker transition from his/her seat to the lectern.

I hereby give some guidelines on creating an effective speech introduction. Additionally, the suggestions herein are for the speaker writing an introduction and for the introducer.

The audience needs to know about the speaker’s background and expertise on the subject matter. Include tidbits regarding the speaker’s organization, education, and family, if appropriate.

As a general rule, a 20-minute or longer speech calls for a 2-3 minute introduction. While this rule isn’t really a rule, and not written in stone, you don’t want to upstage the speaker by going more than three minutes.

Revealing too many details about the speech takes away from the speaker and does a disservice to the audience. Stimulate the attendees’ appetite and enhance their anticipation. However, as the introducer, reframe from delivering the speech yourself.

If a Question and Answer session follow the speech, include this vital information in your introduction. As well as other short, very short, announcements pertaining to the speaker.

A copy of the introduction should be in possession of two people – the speaker and the person introducing you.

Mention the speech title toward the end of your prelude in conjunction with the speaker’s name (speaker’s name may be stated throughout the intro as well). In that regard, consult with the speaker to pronounce his / her name correctly. Write the name phonetically, in order to remember and to better say it.

Initially, write the introduction in long-hand. Then, transfer the information to a laptop, tablet or another such device. This way, you have the opportunity to increase your knowledge of the document and make revisions. While the speech introduction is a get to the point record, you can be creative and have fun with its construction. Consequently, both the speaker and audience members will be very appreciative.

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