Introducing Speakers

The Introduction to a speaker should:

a. Tell the audience why they should listen to this speaker;
b. Provide a transition from the previous activity, orienting the audience to the speaker’s subject.
c. Help the speaker feel welcome and at ease.
d. Build a bridge between the interest of the audience and the credentials of the speaker.

Some “Introductions” we have known that should be avoided:

1. Song leader finishes leading song, sits down, and nods over to the speaker to begin, without any prior introduction.
2. “And now John will speak to us.”
3. “Our staff worker needs no introduction, so here he is.”

Some Guidelines:

1. Keep it short. The audience wants to hear the speaker, not about the speaker.
2. Make it personal. Speak from your heart. Share something from the life of the speaker, not just a list of degrees and books. But don’t be overly familiar or disrespectful.
3. Don’t overly exalt the speaker with glowing comments of praise. You are not introducing God, just one of his servants.
4. Do share enough information about the speaker’s area of expertise or personal experience which makes him/her qualified to speak on this subject.
5. The use of humor can be helpful if it is respectful and not degrading.
6. Avoid disclaimers like: “We may not agree with everything Dr. Jones will say tonight…”. Let the audience decide that.
7. Invite the audience to welcome the speaker with applause. Remain in front to welcome the speaker to the podium and be sure everything is in place.
8. Speakers will form an opinion of InterVarsity by the care with which we give them directions and introduce them.