The most common damage done to a guest speaker happens in the introduction speech. Whether it is a boring introduction, a long litany of unimportant details or the deadly mistake of giving away a guest speaker's point, introductions are notorious for doing the opposite of what they are supposed to do, which is set up the guest speaker \for success.
Research basic bibliographic information about the guest speaker ahead of time. Highlight the expertise and authority of the guest speaker and speak about key accomplishments, awards and marks of success.
Decide what elements of the speaker's character and success are most significant to the audience, such as humility or an entrepreneurial spirit. Give your guest speaker an introduction speech tailored to the audience.
Spend the most time on the first and last two sentences of the introduction speech. Make the first sentence of your introduction speech interesting enough to grab attention and raise expectations. Heighten the energy and attention in the room and end with a cadence that invites applause at the end of the speech. Announce the speaker's name in an upbeat, elevated and excited tone.
- Don't exaggerate the speaker's credentials in an attempt to build him up.
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