Public speaking tip: Provide your own intro

Public speaking training: Provide your own introduction.

Ensure a proper introduction by writing your intro. Too many speakers simply hand the host a thick bio or multi-page résumé. The person has to sift through all that material–on the spot–to get to the relevant information. Worse, the person reads all of it, wasting valuable time and boring your audience to tears. (I once suffered through a nearly 5-minute introduction!)

Write a brief intro that gets to the relevant facts. Keep to about 90 seconds, as you can say a lot in that amount of time. Mention your current position and firm, touch on the relevant history, and offer a theme or takeaway along with the title. By providing an intro, you get to properly set the stage for your presentation.

Provide your intro to the meeting host ahead of time so the person has time to review it. (Another hint: type in large font – 14 or 16 point – so the host doesn’t have any trouble reading your copy.)

Bottom line: Always provide your own intro.

For additional training, see “5 tips to keep your presentation on time” and “Presentation tip: Don’t let gaffes trip you up.”

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Tom Fuszard


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