made what I consider to be 3 big mistakes recently when I was introducing someone. I outlined the information to cover, jotted some statistics to share, and carried them with me onstage. Unfortunately, because we were running short for time, the introduction didn’t powerfully lead back to the audience benefit and my total admiration and respect for the upcoming speaker.
For some strange reason, I didn’t make the time to practice what I was going to say out loud. Not practicing aloud caused me to relearn 3 very important things.
1. When you introduce someone, even if it’s with a testimonial, the focus should never be on you. To get your sincere message across every single time, your words & your actions need to be completely of service to the person you are introducing. What you say must always focus on the benefit of your audience listening to the next speaker’s wisdom.
2. It is of vital importance when you introduce someone to build them up to motivate your audience to hang onto every word the upcoming speaker will say.
3. You don’t need a list to share from your heart. Just keep it short, simple & sincere to achieve maximum impact.
The learning point here is that even if you are a professional speaker, you must always practice any speech that you will give aloud beforehand, if possible. Hearing yourself speak aloud usually makes it instantly clear where your focus should be and what words are “listener & speaker friendly” meaning easy for the audience to understand and easy for you to articulate and express comfortably.
It is imperative that you time yourself especially when introducing someone else. Your message needs to be short & sweet with a clear takeaway. What’s a “takeaway”? It’s the one action you want your audience to take or the one piece of information you want them to remember.
Another tip when you introduce someone is to make sure that you do a fantastic build up and always end with the person’s name. For example, “Put your hands together and make some noise for a man who traveled all the way from Ann Arbor, Michigan — a man who’s in the top 1% of marketers & entrepreneurs in the world — THE man who is about to teach you how to create outrageous wealth —-Mr. — Stephen — Pierce!”
Let’s talk for a moment about mistakes. Frankly, we learn far more from our mistakes than our successes. As a matter of fact most mistakes aren’t even noticed by your audience. So don’t “beat yourself up” when you don’t perform as well as you think you could.
Finally, don’t do what I did and learn from my example. Don’t expect to be perfect and always practice what you will say on your feet and out loud before public speaking even if it’s just a quick introduction.
Welcome the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and give yourself credit for being courageous enough to speak in front of an audience. The best public speaking teacher is practice. Congratulate & celebrate you each step of the way and enjoy the journey one speech at a time.
Deborah Torres Patel is an internationally acclaimed expert on self expression and the fine arts of voice & communication. To receive ongoing tips & subscribe for complimentary online voice, presentation & public speaking training sign up at http://www.expressingyou.com .