Absolutely. You need to plan two introductions.
Some speakers plan an epic opening line as their introduction in a keynote address or sometimes in a sales or vision presentation and it doesn’t connect.
Want to know why?
They didn’t connect with the room first. It’s so important that you;
- Read the room. What’s the vibe? Is it serious? Is it jovial? Energetic? Sombre?
- Plan to connect with what’s happening in the present. This doesn’t need to be long. As a matter of fact, it’s worth making sure that you don’t spend too long engaging with the vibe of the room that you get distracted from your 2nd introduction and lose critical time on your main message.
Here are 3 tips to read the room and connect in a way that opens people up to you?
- Smile as you walk to the stage. Show people that you’re delighted to be with them. You might be nervous and focused but make sure your face says, “I’m excited and honoured to share with you today!”.
- Never pay out the crowd! Of course experienced speakers who possibly have lots of credit in the pockets of the listeners can get away with this but I have seen too many speakers open by saying something derogatory about the audiences nationality, city, food, fashion or sporting teams and then struggle to win the hearts back as they start their presentation.
- Acknowledge: Find something short and encouraging and if possible interesting that shows the listeners that you know where you are (Geography) and who you are with (Culture).
THE TWO INTRODUCTIONS:
- INTRO ONE: Acknowledge the room.
- You can partly plan this.
- Connect with what’s happening “now” i.e. the room vibe etc.
- Don’t start with: “Is my mic on?”
- INTRO TWO: Your opening “hook” statement which can be;
- A Question that relates to the problem you will address.
- A Problem you’re going to address
- A story that surprises and shocks.
I’ll share more in a future post about how to create killer introductions that hook your audience and keep them on the edge of their seat wanting to know where this is going to go.
So, don’t forget to be ready for the TWO INTRODUCTIONS. You may not need to use the first one depending on how you’re introduced but you want to be ready. Remember the key is…
CONNECT CONNECT CONNECT! Doesn’t matter how good your content is if you don’t connect with the real people in the room.
FREE GUIDE: Before your next presentation avoid the TEN BIGGEST MISTAKES SPEAKERS MAKE