Whether you’re speaking in front of your Toastmasters Club, or on a public platform, your introduction is as important as your speech.  Not to be confused with your biography, the introduction sets the stage for what the audience is going to hear next.  It should go something like this:

FIRST THE CREDENTIALS – SHORT AND SWEET

“Our speaker tonight is Angela Sutcliffe.  Angela has been a member of West Carleton Toastmasters for the past three years, and in her job she speaks about business to Chambers of Commerce and other professional organizations and associations.”

THEN THE SETUP – FRAMING THE SPEECH, BUT NOT LONG ENOUGH TO BE A SPEECH, PLEASE

“Tonight, Angela will be speaking about the pitfalls, and blessings, of being a business owner, something she knows all too well.”

FINALLY, WRAP IT UP … MAKE THE HANDOFF SMOOTH AND NEVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED…

“Angela’s favourite saying is “if business was that easy, we’d all be rich”.  Please, give our speaker, Angela Sutcliffe a warm welcome as we learn what it really takes to be a business owner.”

When you’re writing out your personal introduction you want to make it easy for the Toastmaster, or the Host of the Event to read (18 point font, please) and easy to read out loud so they look as much of an expert as you.

REMEMBER, EVERY SPEECH NEEDS A UNIQUE INTRODUCTION.  THIS IS NEVER “ONE SIZE FITS ALL”

A professional speaker ALWAYS paves the way for a professional introduction.

FINALLY, A NOTE TO THE PERSON READING THE INTRODUCTION

READ THE INTRODUCTION beforehand.  Don’t ad lib, don’t make it up as you go along.  You may leave out a vital piece of information for the audience.  There’s nothing worse than sabotaging a speaker before they arrive at the podium or lectern with an unprofessional piece of “showmanship”.