Writing Speaker Introductions

ImageWho likes hearing a speaker introduction that might as well be a speech itself? Pretty much no one.

As with longer speeches, to be successful, introductions need to be planned and rehearsed. To help with the introduction writing process, here is a timeline of the process for writing mini speeches to introduce speakers.

Two or three weeks before the speech

Gather all the information you need to write the introduction. Learn the purpose of the event, the expected audience, the speech topic and as much relevant information as you can about the speaker. During preparation, too much information is better than not enough. Ask the speaker to send you a brief bio. You can either pull the relevant information from the bio, or you can ask the speaker if he would like to write his own introduction.

A week before the speech

Once you have all the information you need, write a short introduction. In most cases, the introduction should be less than two minutes, but even shorter is better. Remember, your purpose is to present the speaker in a positive way and get the audience excited to hear from her. The introduction should not, at any point, focus on you. In the introduction, include information such as the speaker’s education and relevant work experience, achievements and passions. If you have a personal connection to the speaker, mention it to establish the speaker’s credibility. As Toastmasters International suggests, make your introduction a miniature speech, with an introduction, body and conclusion. Once you have written the speech, practice reading it aloud.

 The day of the speech

Rehearse the introduction once more to make sure you are comfortable delivering it. If possible, have a conversation with the speaker before you give the introduction. If you can seamlessly fit it into your script, mention something that came up during your discussion, or convey the speaker’s eagerness to address the audience.

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