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Chapter 22. Entertaining Speeches > The Host with the Most: Introducing a Speak... - Pg. 180

Entertaining Speeches 180 In this chapter, you'll learn how to write speeches that build goodwill, create social cohesion, and delight audiences. First, you'll learn how to introduce a speaker, give a graduation speech, and present and receive an award. Next, we'll cover speaking at conventions, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, retirements, and reunions. Finally, we'll discuss how to dedicate a building. In each sec- tion, you'll learn how to make your natural style and grace work for you in public speaking situations. The Host with the Most: Introducing a Speaker Brevity is the soul of wit, but nowhere is this more true than when you're introducing a speaker. Remember, you're not the head weenie at this roast. Keep your remarks short so you don't steal the main speaker's thunder. What's a short introduction? A 2- to 3-minute speech is ideal--and certainly your speech should be no more than 5 minutes long. The object is to get the speaker and the audience together as quickly as possible, without appearing too rushed. Your introduction should include these elements: · The title of the speech that the speaker will give · Why the speaker is qualified to speak on the topic · The speaker's name--preferably mentioned several times so that the audience remembers it How can you get the information needed to satisfy these elements? Ask the speaker for his or her résumé. This should provide you with more than enough information. But getting your hands on a speaker's biography also carries temptation--should you use the résumé or vita as your speech? No. No. No. Class Act Have you ever heard someone go to the podium and say, "And here's Mr. Henry Huggins and his good wife Sylvia"? How about, "We're delighted to have Mr. Horatio Hornblower and his better half, Estelle"? These phrases were once accepted as the norm, but today they're considered tacky, rude, and disparaging. Instead, say, "I would like to introduce Herbert and Hortensia Huffnagle." Coming Attractions Draw what you need from the speaker's résumé. The elements should then be woven into a profile, not ticked off like an obituary. Anything that unites the speaker and the audience is fair game. Sometimes, the speaker will provide you with the introduction he or she wants used. If you're lucky, the introduction you're provided with will be a good one. If you're unlucky, the introduction will be canned and stale. In most situations, you're under no obligation to deliver the speaker's introduction as written. Edit it to answer the three key questions listed earlier in this section. Delete ho-hum lists of professional organizations, and fill it with lively stories that show why the speaker was invited to address the organization and why you're delighted to be making the intro- duction. Many times a professional speaker will supply a professionally written introduction that is designed to achieve specific goals. This introduction should not be edited.