Hello – Just Exactly Who Are You?

Before you start to speak, make sure your audience knows who you are…
Before you start to speak, make sure your audience knows who you are…

Got any thoughts on how you would like to start your next speech? What words of wisdom will you use to start your speech in a way that will capture the hearts and minds of your audience from the get-go and cause them to use their listening skills to really hear what you have to say? Hold on, it turns out that if you wait until you start speaking to start your speech you may already be too late — no presentation tips are going to save you now. I’ve got a better way for you to get your next speech off to a good start…

How An Introduction Is Supposed To Work

So why do speakers go to the effort to get someone to introduce them? Doesn’t the audience already know who they are – I mean after all, the audience has shown up and they all know about the importance of public speaking, right?

It turns out that there’s a very good chance that your audience does not know who you are. They may have come because of the topic that you’ll be talking about; however, they may know nothing about you.

That’s why you always want to coordinate with the person who is running the event in order to get them to agree to provide you with an introduction. Your introduction is going to serve you in two different ways.

First, it’s going to make sure that your audience knows who you are. You are planning on standing up in front of your audience and talking for the next 30-60-90 minutes, why should they bother to listen to you? The introduction that is delivered about you should tell your audience why they are lucky to have an opportunity to hear you.

Next, your introduction can set the stage for your speech. Without going into too much detail, the introduction can touch on what you’ll be talking about. It’s often best to ask your introducer to tease the audience with what questions you’ll be answering during your speech and not focus on the points that you’ll be covering.

Preparing For The Worst

Considering how important an introduction is to your next speech, it sure seems as though it would be a good idea to take steps to ensure that it goes well. What this means is that you need to prepare for the worst to happen.

The most important step in your “introduction defense system” needs to be that you always remember to bring a hardcopy of the introduction that you’ve created for this speech to the speech itself. There are actually a couple of different reasons for doing this.

The first is that in this crazy mixed up world that we live in, there is always a good chance that the person who is going to be introducing you just might misplace the introduction that you gave to them. If this happens, all too often the person may be too proud to admit it and then may try to wing your introduction with disastrous results. Always have a backup hardcopy for them to use.

Secondly, the person who had agreed to provide you with an introduction may not even be at the event! Things can happen and schedules can change. There’s nothing that we can do to prevent this from happening; however, if you have a copy of your introduction then you can quickly hand it to the replacement introducer and you should be good to go.

What All Of This Means For You

It can be a bit frightening as a speaker to realize that how your next speech is going to turn out may be determined even before you have a chance to open your mouth. The good news is that once you know this, you can take action to make sure that everything starts off on a good foot.

Before you start to give your next speech, make sure that someone is going to introduce you. If you’ve set up with someone to be introduced and for whatever reason they can’t do it, make sure that you’ve come prepared to have someone else step in and take care of it.

Introductions set the tone for a speech and the fact that we get to use an introduction is one of the benefits of public speaking. Even before you start to say anything, your introduction can set the tone for your speech and may determine its outcome. Do your homework and make sure that your next speech comes with a great introduction!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How long do you think the perfect introduction for you would be?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

How many times have you gone to hear a speaker only to be disappointed? What was it that made you disappointed? I’m willing to bet that at least part of the problem was that they were a boring speaker – you didn’t need to have great listening skills to discover that they didn’t grab and hold your attention. Since you never want your audience to think about you in the same way, you’ve got to take steps to make sure that this never happens to you. It turn out that the solution to this speaking problem doesn’t involve any presentation tips and is actually quite simple – get some enthusiasm!