Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Introducer Starts the Show

This is important for all presentations, but even more important for banquets since they are built around ceremony and most everyone either knowing each other or knowing of each other: how the introduction goes makes a big difference. So, how do you capitalize on this fact?

1. Write the introduction yourself. Even if they don't use this word-for-word, offer it to the banquet committee as a foundation for whatever they do end up using. Whether it is your intro word-for-word or they are personalizing it, do whatever you can to keep it brief and to the point. As an audience member, I don't need to know everything about you. I just need to know an overview of what you are going to say and a quick explanation of why you are the one saying it.

2. If your name is difficult to pronounce, have your name written out phonetically somewhere on the introduction sheet. Here is mine: Rhett Laubach (Law-Buck)

3. Meet with the introducer yourself before the banquet begins. Ask them if they have any questions, review what they are planning on using, ask if they can pronounce your name (if this is an issue) and learn a few things about them; their name, their role within the organization, their expectations of your talk, etc. Also, find out what happens after you speak. Does that person come back up? Is someone else taking the program after you? Are they planning on giving you something (i.e. should you stay at the podium/up-front)?

4. Have an extra copy of your introduction with you printed in 14 font and double spaced. Have the paper three-hole punched just in case they are using a three-ring binder for their script.

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