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How to Introduce a Speaker – Three steps to wow!

May 13, 2009

I’ve been a speaker and an emcee for twenty years. Here’s how you can grab the attention of your audience and get them excited about an upcoming speaker.  You amplify their genius! There is a timeless, three-step formula developed by one of last century’s most beloved business speakers, founder of the National Speakers Association Cavett Roberts.

1. No matter what intro is given to you by a speaker check to see if it answers Cavett’s three questions.

a. Why is this topic of critical importance?
b. Why is this topic of critical importance for this audience? (classic WI-FM or What’s In It For Me)
c. Why is this absolutely the perfect person to be speaking to us?

Usually a speaker’s intro only has step three.  Write step one and two and add it to their three. Try to make your remarks  approximately 90 seconds long. Send your version to the speaker for approval.

2. Memorize your intro so you can look into the audience. See if there are four natural thoughts in your intro and deliver each message to one person in each quadrant of the room. This ‘works the room’ and pulls everyone’s focus to the front.  If speaking is the last thing on earth you’d like to do, and you need the page before you, memorize the opening and closing sentence and gives those with eyes forward.  If you love speaking and can wing it just make sure your last line is the same one you told the speaker you would say.  Usually it is: ‘Please join me in welcoming to the stage Louise Karch’  (if I happen to be your speaker!)

3. Start the applause and stay on the platform or by the podium until the speaker arrives (never leave it empty as it psychologically drains the moment). Depending on where the speaker enters, move to the side or back so the speaker crosses in front of you not behind you. Look them in they eye – where you look the audience will look, shake their hand (if culturally appropriate) and leave the stage walking behind not in front.

A little bit of preparation will build a wave of excitment that your speaker can ride and everyone will appreciate.

feel free to reprint this blog,  simply add  (c) Louise Karch, 2009   www.louisekarch.com

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If it is not your genius it is not your job.
Louise B. Karch