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From the desk of Steve Lowell, Master Speaker and Mentor to those who speak in public.

Being Sensational

Write Your Own Introduction

How you’re introduced to an audience is the first step to being sensational on the stage. The introduction is a critical point in your presentation, because it’s your audience’s first exposure to you. You want it to be perfect! Don’t waste this precious opportunity, an opportunity that lets you paint a picture in your audience’s mind about who you are. Leaving your introduction to the discretion of the Master of Ceremonies isn’t going to give you the powerful opening you need. Unfortunately, many speakers omit this important step.

To write an effective introduction, spare the audience from having to endure a long and painful list of your accomplishments. They don’t really care about what you’ve done that much. It’s always best to keep your introduction short, sweet, and powerful. Include only the information that’s really important to your audience, and use your introduction as a mood-setter.

At one of my recent events, I had the privilege of introducing Peggy McColl, a New York Times Best-Selling Author. You’ve already read about her in this book.

Peggy has a list of accomplishments that could go on forever, and I could probably spend an entire twenty-minute presentation just rattling off her past work. At our session, however, the topic she was to present her advice about was how to write a book in a single weekend. Peggy didn’t send me an introduction, so I formulated my own. (I bet she won’t do that again, after she reads this book!)

Even though I could have gone on and on about how amazing she is, I restricted her introduction to three relevant points:

1.      She’s a ‘New York Times’ best-selling author, and this establishes respect for her work.

2.      She’s written eight books, and this establishes her vast wisdom and experience.

3.      Her most recent book was written in a single weekend, and this proves she’s just done what she’s going to teach us to do.

Her introduction went something like this, “Our next speaker is a New York Times Best Selling Author. She recently completed her eighth book, which she wrote in a single weekend, and she’s here today to show you how she did it, so you can do it too. Please help me welcome Peggy McColl.”

This is a simple, but effective introduction. When you prepare your introduction, include only the credentials that are relevant to the situation. Make it short, make it sweet, and set yourself up so that your audience awaits your first word with baited breath.

So, what’s the lesson? Take control of how you’re looked upon, as you step onto the stage. Write your own introduction.

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