6.5 Speaker Introduction and Recognition
How to Introduce a Speaker
Every speaker deserves a thoughtful and helpful introduction. The best introductions introduce the speaker to the audience and the audience to the speaker highlighting the common bonds, mutual views and interests between them. An introduction is a mini-speech containing all the elements of a full speech. It has an opening to grab the audience’s attention and inform them of the value of the topic. It has a body in which the following is explained:
• Why this topic?
• Why this speaker?
• Why this audience?
• Why this time?
It has a conclusion that serves as the actual presentation of the speaker. Your introduction should tell the audience about the expertise of the speaker and give relevant background information. You should set the mood of the audience for this particular presentation; this can be an especially challenging task if there is a marked change of mood from the preceding presentation.
While covering these points, be careful not to deliver the speaker’s presentation yourself. Allusions to the topic will arouse audience interest without taking away from the speaker’s impact.
An introduction requires preparation. You should try to contact the speaker in advance and discuss the relevant information about the presentation and the speaker. You should then make an outline of your introduction and rehearse it. Good preparation will clearly show, and both the audience and the speaker will appreciate it. The above was adapted from Toastmaster International Communication and Leadership Program Kit.
Thanking a Speaker
The thank-you should including an opening, body and conclusion and focus on the content of the speech. The person who is thanking the speaker is representing the audience at this point and telling the speaker for all of us why this presentation was instructive, thought-provoking and entertaining. Tell the speaker why we were glad to have heard this particular presentation, say thank-you and lead the applause.