The other day I head a speaker being introduced, and the MC made a complete mess of it. The worst part of the whole introduction is that the speaker was welcomed to the lectern, and then the MC continued with a clearly unprepared introduction. This left the poor speaker standing in the middle of the stage, completely unsure of whether to walk up to the mic, or to walk back off the stage and wait for the MC to finish!
This has happened to me, and I don’t want it to happen to you. Here are a few tips for introducing a speaker
- Check if they have their own written introduction ? most experienced speakers will.
- If the do have a written introduction, use it and stick to it.
- Keep the introduction short and to the point ? no more than a minute or two.
- Be clear when you are calling the speaker to the stage, welcome them (a simple handshake will do), handover, and get off the stage.
- Don?t steal any thunder from the speaker. If you have heard them before, don?t mention too much about their topic, or the great joke they told – you don?t want to steal their thunder.
- If the speaker has a difficult to pronounce name, ask them how to pronounce their name, and be sure to get it right. Write it out phonetically if necessary.
- Remember, the audience is there to hear the speaker, not you.
What else should the MC do?