When people come to see and hear a speaker, they are investing:
- Money – Their own, or someone else’s.
- Opportunity Cost – They could be doing something else with their time rather than attending the event.
It is imperative the audience knows WHY:
This speaker was chosen to make a presentation on this topic.
The Speaker’s Bio, if there is one in a promotional piece or announcement, usually does a poor job informing the audience why the speaker was chosen.
Unfortunately, bios usually include information about the presenter’s family, education (some relevant to their expertise, some not), hobbies, and other information irrelevant to their talk. No one cares how many kids you have, the fact you collect rocks, and like to backpack in state parks.
Write your own Introduction for the emcee of the event to deliver.
Or, if you must introduce yourself:
Have a prepared Credibility Statement for yourself to present.
Let’s look at the Format for the Introduction. It should answer Three Questions:
- Why this Subject?
- Why this Speaker?
- Why Now?
The Introduction should be similar to the king’s trumpeters announcing royalty is approaching, and build anticipation for the presentation. The master of ceremonies should conclude the Introduction by leading the audience in applause and saying, “Help me welcome ______!” Your audience should be PUMPED!
It is the speaker’s responsibility to write their own Introduction. Do not be modest. Give reasons you have the expertise to address your topic. The audience wants to know you are an expert who will teach them new things.
When the emcee says great things about you, it’s like a third party endorsement. If you espouse those same credentials, it could be seen as being a braggart.
The person introducing you will be happy you took the task of composing it out of their hands. They should read it as if they wrote it. Get them a copy long before the event, highlight words and sentences to be emphasized, and even insert the word (P-a-u-s-e) where appropriate. Let them know the Introduction is an integral part of the presentation.
Suggest they practice before the event, communicating with you if there are any questions. Remind them: they will be the center of attention for the audience when doing this. It is their “Speaking Opportunity!” and a chance to be in the spotlight. Don’t forget to bring an extra copy to the venue in case the emcee forgot their’s or there is a substitute host.
Sometimes, there is no “master of ceremonies” for the event, so you take charge from the get-go.
It could be a presentation, workshop, or class. It may be a situation where the host was a no-show and you, by default, must introduce yourself. In a class or workshop, it is you and the attendees. In these instances, it is referred to as a Credibility or Expertise Statement. Your audience must know why you have the authority to speak on the topic you’re addressing. This is important!
Expertise Statement Template
This is who I am and why you can trust I know what I’m talking about.
Always greet your audience.
- “Good morning!”
- “Welcome to _______!”
“I am (Your Name.)”
Why am I here?
Your position / duty / title.
Why are you here?
This focuses the audience.
Use verbiage like the following:
- “You are attending this event / workshop / seminar because this topic is important to you. You want to learn something new and valuable. Correct?”
- “You could be, and probably should be, wondering, “What authority / expertise do I have to speak about this topic / facilitate this workshop.”
- “Because you’re investing time and money, you deserve an answer.”
Give the audience facts that verify you are an Expert.
It should specific information relevant to your topic.
It must be data that can be fact-checked.
It can include:
- Owner, Vice President, Founder.
- Articles about you, or those you’ve written.
- Books by, or about, you.
- Media exposure.
- Years in Business.
- Specific Business Accomplishments.
- Adjectives such as: best, largest, oldest, most widely distributed, world renowned.
“Let’s get started!”
Delivering the Introduction and Expertise Statements
The Introduction and Expertise Statement are mini-presentations. The components of each are Content and Delivery. Content is the message; Delivery is presenting that message to the audience. As is the case with all talks, Delivery trumps Content.
All the verbal and nonverbal elements of delivering an Introduction or Expertise Statement are important to having the audience GET IT! Whichever it is, and whoever is doing the speaking, it’s an important and an integral part of the presentation.
It has already been pointed out the Introduction should be delivered by the emcee as if they wrote it. The task should not be taken lightly. They should practice this mini-presentation several times before the event. Delivering it makes them the center of attention and puts them in a leadership position.
The Expertise Statement is the speaker introducing themselves. Delivery takes on a different dimension. It should projected with ‘confidence in your competence,’ and not come across to the audience as bragging. The words should be spoken as a network news anchor would read them. The speaker is delivering facts and data that speak for themselves.
Follow the above guidelines and the next time you are introduced, or introduce yourself, this part of your presentation will be – NO SWEAT!
About the Author
Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and the author of the book,
“NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”
Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their
Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.
They do this because they know:
Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.
They also know:
We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.
He shows them how to:
Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with –
- Keynote Speaker
- Workshop Facilitator
- Breakout Sessions
- Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching
- Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!
- Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!
- Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.
- We are All Self-Employed!
Fred E. Miller