Conducting a lecture is not an easy task. If you are part of the team organizing the event, you should know by now that there are so many things that you should prepare such as your venue, the date and time for the lecture, your audience, your funds and expenses, and of course, your keynote speaker.
Event committees are usually divided to work on different tasks. If you are assigned to tasks involving the speaker, specifically with his introduction, you should not take your responsibility lightly. Most presenters are used to being handed a piece of paper with the speaker’s credentials on it – they just read whatever is written. Although there is nothing wrong with this practice, you should nonetheless, avoid it.
As much as possible, prepare your introduction prior to the event. To give you an idea as to how you can accomplish this crucial task, here are five things you should do when presenting your keynote speaker:
• Do research about your speaker
If you have been assigned to introduce your guest of honor, make it your personal mission to do some research about him. After finding out his name, it is wise that you also learn its proper pronunciation. Likewise, it is only proper that you familiarize yourself with his reputation and accomplishments.
• Do verify his credentials
Some presenters do away with confirming the speaker’s credentials. Instead of checking twice, they just read the notes and deliver the introduction without giving much thought to it.
It could happen that your researchers are mistaken about your speaker’s details. To avoid the embarrassment of being corrected by your keynote speaker, do yourself a favor by checking every piece of information before speaking.
• Do add some personal touch to your introduction
Do not bore your audience by enumerating the speaker’s numerous achievements. When you present your guest of honor, try to be a bit lively and personal. As a suggestion, you may begin with an anecdote relating to your speaker. If you are somehow related or even just acquainted with him, you may also include your interactions as part of your introduction. As much as possible, do not just read off from the teleprompter or from the script.
• Do not take too much time
You are tasked to introduce your speaker only. Do not waste precious time by telling tales or by reading about his whole life story. A five- to seven-minute introduction should be enough to properly present your keynote speaker for the event. If you speak beyond this time, your audience may get bored and your speaker may get impatient as well.
• If possible, introduce yourself to the speaker beforehand
To make your task a success, it is advisable that you approach the speaker before the start of the event. Introduce yourself as his presenter and try to start a conversation with him if he is not too busy.
To give you a better idea of who your speaker is, ask him some questions about his personal background such as his hometown, his age, or even his previous speaking engagements. You could also clarify some matters which are confusing to you such as his name’s pronunciation or his exact college degree.
It is also during this period that you could get acquainted to your keynote speaker, even if it is just for a short time. You can ask him if he is enjoying his stay in your area or how his flight was on his way there. By having some sort of connection with him, you can be more confident in introducing him to your audience.
Simply put, as long as you manage to do all those, rest assured that you’ll please the speaker and get the audience excited at the same time.