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March 31, 2011


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Kathy Reiffenstein

Hi Fred,

Thanks so much for stopping by and adding a comment. Your advice is spot on.

And I love your metaphor of the king and his trumpeters!

I think the biggest challenge is to get the introducer to rehearse the introduction -- or at least read it through a few times before standing in front of an audience. Unfortunately this is the part we speakers have the least control over.


Fred E. Miller

Thanks for the Post, Kathy.

The Introduction is an integral part of the presentation.

The speaker should wrote their own and it should, as you said answer the three Whys?

Why this subject?
Why this speaker?
Why now?

It is the king's trumpeters announcing the king!

Review, and even role play the Introduction with the emcee.

Bring an extra copy in case they forget to bring it or there is a change in emcees.

Kathy Reiffenstein


Thanks for your comment and for sharing the link to your post. Very good points about the logistics -- things the audience may well wonder about and could distract them from paying full attention.

And I love your intro example!! How funny in a bizarre sort of way. Bet that got the audience's attention!!


Kathy Reiffenstein

Hi Rich,

Thanks for your comment.

I totally agree with you. What can a speaker be thinking to leave an intro to someone who may not know what to say or may be a terrible speaker??!

Hopefully if both speaker and introducer can be more aware of their responsibilities, our audiences will benefit.


Kathy Reiffenstein

Hi Heather,

I like your formula -- sort of builds suspense. And also provides a good way of "ending" the intro rather than just sort of stumbling around or reverting to the "without further ado" which is so cliched

And yes, I should wear the phonetic spelling of my name pinned to my chest because rarely does anyone pronounce it correctly! According to my husband, to whom the name belongs, its origin is Danish.


Richard I. Garber


The most out-of the-ordinary introduction I’ve heard, about a female science professor, was:

“...years ago when an introducer informed the audience that I had killed one of my advisers. The introducer explained that my research had disproved part of my adviser's lifework, and the shock had killed him.” It comes from this article: http://chronicle.com/article/Speaking-of-Speaking/48790/

Unless there is a written program that still is correct, the introduction also should mention how long the speech will be, and how questions will be handled. I mentioned both these points in my longest post about introductions here: http://joyfulpublicspeaking.blogspot.com/2009/09/introducing-speaker.html


Rich Hopkins

Excellent points for the introducers who are put in this position far too often. Speakers who don't prepare their own intro, and coach the introducer ahead of time, if at all possible, generally get what they deserve...

Heather Stubbs

Well put, Kathy! I like to reveal the speaker's name last: starting with "Our speaker this evening..". and ending with "please join me in welcoming Dr. Jane So-and-So". I find it a useful formula. Oh, and I'm glad to finally know how to pronounce YOUR name! (Reef? Rife? Steen? Stine?) I'm lucky. You can't go too wrong with good old "Stubbs"! :)

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