Introducing a Speaker? What to Do, What to Avoid

Patricia Fripp
Hall of Fame Speaker & Executive Speech Coach, Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

My friend and colleague, Sims Wyeth, author of The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking, shares this excellent and practical advice on what to do, and not do, when introducing a speaker.

How to Introduce A Speaker
by Sims Wyeth

First, you must be brief.

Avoid all stale and stilted phrases such as,  “It is indeed an honor…,” “A man who needs no introduction…” and “We are gathered here tonight…”
Do not embarrass the speaker with over-florid predictions of the marvelous treat that awaits the audience. Never exaggerate your speaker’s qualifications.

Avoid giving a speaker a false start.  For example, “…and so I take great pleasure in introducing Paul Prolichs…” (Mr. Prolichs rises to his feet.) “…a man who is supremely qualified… blah, blah, blah…” (Mr. Prolichs drops back into his chair.)

Finally, do not steal the spotlight, or strive to give the audience a sample of what it is missing because the program committee did not have the good judgment to schedule you for the main speech.

Sims Wyeth
Speech Coach & Author, Sims Wyeth

If you are a speaking, do yourself and your introducer a favor… write your introduction yourself. Your introduction is not your bio. I present mine in 18-point type and bullets rather than paragraphs. This makes it easier to read. Send a copy in advance and carry a copy with you.

Sims Wyeth is the president of Sims Wyeth & Co., specializing in presentation skills and public speaking training in order to give accomplished people the knowledge and skill they need to become accomplished speakers.

Thank you Sims!

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Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp works with individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.