continued from part 2
It’s a packed house. The audience is waiting to hear from you and you have prepared an outstanding talk. You’re ready to hit them with an opening that’ll make‘em say “Wow!”
Before you even have a chance to open your mouth, things start to fall apart.
People in the audience are getting restless and bored. You see too many yawns to count. Others are getting irritated. It’s killing you, but you can’t do anything about it right now.
Because it has nothing to do you. You don’t even have the mic.
This ugly mess has been orchestrated by…
The person introducing you.
Anytime you’re going to give a talk you be sure to have a serious pow-wow with the person introducing you. If you don’t, chances are that there will be problems.
This is a mistake I’ve made myself and I’ve seen countless beginning speakers make the same mistake. It’s not impossible to overcome a poor intro, but it can be a struggle.
MAKE ‘EM LOVE YOU
Andy Drish wrote a blog post about being the speaker and the youngest person in the room. He wrote some good tips and people left some good comments. Here is the comment that I left:
Make sure you talk to the person that is introducing you. Make him/her laugh. Make him/her like you. Go over your intro with this person and if you can get somebody that a lot of people in the company like and respect, you’ll have a serious advantage.
Also, spend some time to talking to a few other influential people right before you start. Everybody tends to follow their lead. They’ll be saying things like, “he’s going to be good” before you even get started.
NO BAD NEWS
Never let the person that is introducing you give the audience any bad news whatsoever. Before your intro, in a casual-conversation kind of way, find out if there are any special announcements that are going to be made.
If it’s bad news, suggest that your message will be better received if the announcement is made after your talk. The worse the news, the more firm you need to be.
Once during my intro, a campus activities director announced that due to an error in the financial aid office, student loan checks would be delayed by three weeks. Many of the students needed that money for food. They went crazy and couldn’t hear one word I said for the first 10 minutes of my presentation. Not cool.
So let’s sum this tip up in one simple sentence:
Never get in front of the room without doing everything you can to have a rock solid intro.
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