5 Tips for Creating a Crisp & Memorable Introduction
If you are the speaker at a meeting, conference or event, it's one of your responsibilities to provide a written introduction to the meeting organizer. The purpose of the introduction is to capture the audience’s attention and give them a quick overview of your background and experience.
Here are 5 tips for creating a crisp and memorable introduction:
1. Make your introduction short.
An introduction is not the same as your full biography or a list of everything you've ever accomplished. It will always take longer to read the introduction out loud than when you read through it in your head after you write it... so make it shorter than you think it should be. You can include a longer biography in the meeting invitation that is sent ahead of time, or in the handouts at the meeting itself.
2. Include only relevant details.
It should only include highlights of your experience that are relevant to this particular audience. For example, when I speak to project managers, my introduction includes the fact that I have PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, since it is relevant to that particular audience. However, when I speak to entrepreneurs, I omit the PMP from my introduction and replace it with the fact that I run my own business.
3. Send your introduction ahead of time.
Send your introduction to the meeting organizer ahead of time so they have a chance to review it. Sometimes the meeting organizer doesn't bring a copy for the person who is going to introduce you, so also bring a copy printed in large font on colored, hard-stock paper, just in case it's needed.
4. Include phonetic pronunciations of any unusual words.
Spell out phonetically how to pronounce any unusual names of locations. For example, my introduction includes a phonetic pronunciation of my first name: Gilda is pronounced "Jilda."
5. Review it with your introducer.
Take a few minutes before the meeting and go over the introduction with the person who will introduce you. Ask them to read it word for word to the audience rather than trying to memorize it or ad lib. If there are special logistics, such as having to read the introduction as specific slides are appearing onscreen, explain it to him or her before the event.
For tips on how to actually do the introduction, see my blog post - "Please DO Read the Speaker's Introduction Word for Word"
Taking the time and energy to create a crisp and memorable introduction will help get your presentation started on a solid footing.
Gilda Bonanno is a speaker, trainer and coach who helps people from all walks of life improve their communication and presentation skills.
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