Speaker introductions: Some do’s and don’ts

So, your amazing event is set.  All the speakers you wanted confirmed and are ready.  What’s next?  Yup, speaker introductions!

There’s a fine balance here between your brilliance as a curator, your vision around curating the story arc for the day, being personable, and of course highlighting your speaker in a way that will instill confidence for their talk.  In some ways, writing intros for a talk can be harder than writing the actual talk.  You want to have something personal in there “I met this amazing speaker at an awesome event and was dazzled by their personality”  but don’t want to make it all about you: “And they told me about how great I am and how they want to be part of my event.”

It’s frequent that hosts come off as egotistical.  Should be avoided, it’s the way to get attendees to skip your future events.  So how to avoid that?  Some tips:

  • Consider having different hosts for different segments.  As the curator, you start the day off and then let it be known that also curated the hosts.  Who in turn become other speakers
  • Introduce your speakers in waves.  Such as 3-5 speakers at a time (depending on how long their talks are of course) More on them, more on the arc of the story, less you on stage.  They’ll have to introduce themselves a little bit, but you want some of that for any leave behind videos anyway.
  • Only talk about them and their accomplishments.  No talking about why you picked them at all.  Total focus on content can be a good thing (but not right for all audiences, some should be more personal of course!)
  • Personal introductions could be a story instead of a list of “I statements.”  Treat yourself as a character in a story, the story of meeting this speaker and their topic.
  • Try not to say personal pronouns in the intro.  Change statements to concepts instead of “I” or “me” statements.
  • Tell the story of the day.  “we just learned about the beginnings of flibbity jibbits, now this speaker will take use through the journey of evolving flibbity jibbits.”

Hopefully these tips will help you write the perfect speaker introductions!

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