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Simply Said by Jay Sullivan

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CHAPTER 16 Pass the Mic Handling Introductions

At every large business meeting, industry conference, and charity function, someone acts as emcee. Someone else usually introduces the speakers or award recipients.

Think about what an introduction is conceptually. Here is a person fully capable of speaking for herself. You are introducing her because you can say things about her she can’t say about herself. For most people, politicians aside, it would feel awkward to stand in front of an audience and brag. Your job as the person making the introduction is to brag on the person’s behalf and to tell audience members why they should listen to this person who is about to speak. Introducing someone, if done well, provides three possible benefits:

  1. It primes the audience for the value they are about to receive from the speaker.
  2. It bolsters the speaker’s confidence as he or she steps up to the microphone.
  3. It provides the person making the introduction the opportunity to present himself as a capable, engaged speaker and leader.

Most introductions, however, are awful. Rarely is the introduction in any way interesting or inspiring, and rarely is it personal. The default for most people giving an introduction is to read the text printed about the speaker in the event brochure or read the person’s resume to the audience. If all you do is read a resume, you don’t sound impressed. You sound uninformed.

Planning Your Introduction

Here’s how you can make the most of a great opportunity.

Shorter ...

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