How a keynote speaker is introduced at your conference can make or break their speech. A good introduction sets the right tone and instills confidence in the speaker’s ability to meet the audience’s needs. The worst step you can take is to not prepare an introduction and just wing it based on your knowledge of the speaker.
Prepare and construct an introduction that will add to the power of their speech. Here are six tips to help you in your preparation.
- Double-check and triple-check the pronunciation of the speaker’s name and company. Spell them out phonetically so if you have to miss the event, someone can step into your shoes. Messing up someone’s name shows a lack of professionalism and an inattention to detail.
- If your keynote speaker has a prepared introduction they want you to use, don’t just read it from a paper in a monotone. Practice beforehand and give energy and life to it. Remember, you are setting the tone. Don’t introduce the concept of boredom even before your keynote speaker steps on the platform.
- Answer these three questions: Why this speaker, on this subject, to this audience? Build excitement as you answer those questions so that the audience is raring to listen. Add a familiar touch if you can. If you have personal experience with the speaker, mention it. If you have read one of their books and enjoyed it, let the audience know.
- Inform the audience about the format for the presentation. Will there be an opportunity to ask questions? If so, when? Give the details about procedure before the speaker begins, so that the audience isn’t wondering. Let the audience know if the speaker will be selling or signing books afterward. Take care of the details so your speaker doesn’t need to address them.
- Keep it brief. The keynote speaker delivers the information and the content. The introducer's job is to generate excitement for what’s to come, but in a brief fashion. Don’t give away any key points that the speaker will discuss. Don’t let nerves get you to rambling.
- Always wait on stage for your speaker to come to you before you exit. Let them walk up to you, shake their hand, and then exit the stage. Your job in introducing your conference keynote speaker is extremely important. Take it lightly and your keynote speaker may not want to return. Take it seriously and you will add to the success of your entire event.