ASK THE EXPERTS
MAKE YOURSELF RELATABLE. During a speech, as opposed
to a performance, the audience members expect you to speak
directly to them and demand that you be in the moment with
them. Of course, you’re going to wow them with your experience,
wisdom, and delivery, but first make that connection by crafting an
introduction that makes you relatable.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Unfortunately, speakers can destroy their
relatability by having an introduction that is a multimedia
extravaganza, complete with special lighting and sound effects.
STAY FOCUSED. To connect with your audience, your
introduction should focus on just three things:
• Why is this topic important?
• Why are you qualified to speak on this specific topic?
• How will your audience benefit by listening to your
When you deliver on these three points in your presentation,
you won’t need a flashy, high-tech introduction or a lengthy list
of credits at the beginning of your speech to be effective.
CHRISTINE HOLTON CASHEN,
CSP, CPAE, is on a quest to rid the
world of self-indulgent and boring
intros. Christine is a speaker, author,
and average golfer. Learn more at
Write an intro that piques interest and makes you relatable.
If done correctly, those in the audience will look up from
their phones and begin smiling at you. You’ll have won
them over even before you take the stage.
HELP THE INTRODUCER GET STARTED. “Let me begin with
a few questions.”
ASK THREE QUESTIONS related to your presentation that
intrigue the audience and get them to say, “Yes!” “Have
you ever …? Do you wish …? Could you use …?”
INSERT A TRANSITION. “If you answered yes to any of
those questions, you’re in the right place.”
OFFER THREE OR FOUR PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS
plus a personal fact such as, “When she isn’t speaking,
she’s running after her three dogs: Larry, Curly, and Moe.”
YOU’RE ON! “Helping us today with (concept or name of
speech), please join me in welcoming _____________
(two titles and one twist or connector, then your name):
Speaker, consultant, and speed limit violator …”
TED JANUSZ has delivered over 750
full-day seminars in 49 of the 50 United
States, in Canada from Halifax to Vancouver,
and in Australia and Puerto Rico. He is a
master trainer for Shepard Presentations.
Learn more at januspresentations.com.
ROCK STAR INTRODUCTIONS FOCUSED NOT FLASHY
BY TED JANUSZ AND
CHRISTINE HOLTON CASHEN, CSP, CPAE
Two different takes on
your first impression
Does your intro read like a laundry list of
everything you’ve ever accomplished or does
it come off as overly theatrical? Neither is
setting you up for success. An introduction’s
role is to build credibility and help you
connect with the audience who is about to
meet you. Here are two ways to do just that: