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Neil Dempster Keynote Resources

[An Out-of-the-Ballpark Keynote ... Every Time!]

Neil Dempster's Introduction

Thank you for taking on the role to introduce Neil to your audience!

The people attending your meeting have high expectations and expect a qualified presenter—someone who has content to stimulate them intellectually and a delivery style that will touch them emotionally. The introductions provided below will establish credibility and set a positive upbeat tone for the meeting.

How to Deliver a Winning Keynote Speaker Introduction ...

Whether you are introducing Neil Dempster or another keynote speaker, every speaker deserves a thoughtful and professional introduction. If you've been asked to introduce a speaker it is an honor that should be taken seriously. Your purpose is to help establish the speaker's credibility and to set a positive tone for the meeting so some 'homework' is required:

  • Step 1: Note: If you have been provided with a prepared introduction, skip to Step 3. Otherwise, contact the speaker (or someone who knows him or her well) prior to writing the introduction to get his or her correct name (and pronunciation), title, education, relevant organization memberships, honors and any special interests or abilities that would be pertinent to your audience.
  • Step 2: You are now ready to write the introduction. Like any good speech, your introduction will have an opening, body and conclusion. The opening should get the attention of the audience by establishing the importance of the subject the speaker is about to address. Avoid clichés in your introduction such as, "This speaker needs no introduction . . ." or "Without further ado . . ." Also, avoid being too familiar unless you know the speaker well (e.g., don't use jokes unless you have a comfortable relationship with the person). Also, an effective technique to build anticipation is to refrain from using the speaker's name during the opening portion.

    The body of your introduction needs to explain what makes this speaker and this topic the perfect fit for this audience. Arouse your audience's interest by alluding to the topic, without taking away from the speaker's impact. (In other words, don't give the speaker's speech.) The speaker's name should be used throughout the body and conclusion, so the audience will clearly relate the speaker to the topic.

    Your conclusion should highlight the importance of the speaker to the overall proceedings and make him or her feel welcome.

    An introduction is typically between thirty seconds and two minutes long, depending on the nature of the event and the distinction of the speaker.
  • Step 3: Practice giving the introduction. Make sure you pronounce the speaker's name correctly. Also, look for words that should have special emphasis. (Hint: Highlight these words with a highlighter marker to make them easy to see when you are in front of the audience.) The use of voice inflection will also make the introduction much more interesting to listen to. Good preparation will clearly show, and both the audience and speaker will appreciate it. (Hint: Printing the introduction in a larger font makes it much easier to read in different light conditions. Also, increasing the line spacing allows your eye to track more effectively.)
  • Step 4: When you begin your introduction, be enthusiastic! Create the impression that it is a real privilege to introduce the speaker to your audience. Put a smile in your voice. Be animated (if you are comfortable). Try not to read the introduction—lift your head occasionally and look at different people within the audience while you continue speaking.
  • Step 5: Make the speaker's name the climax (and end) of your introduction by pausing before it, and then saying the name by raising your voice a bit. An example would be, "Please join me in welcoming . . . (short pause and then with emphasis) Neil Dempster."
  • Step 6: At this point you lead the applause and gracefully invite the speaker to the front of the room to deliver the speech.
  • Step 7: In the North American culture, it is both polite and professional to shake the speaker's hand as he or she takes the platform. Professional speakers will know to do this—but others may not—so don't embarrass the speaker by approaching with your hand extended. Take the cue from the speaker.

Example Introduction