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The First Thing the Audience Hears Is . . .


This is what the master of ceremonies says before the speaker takes the stage. It is not only an integral part of your presentation, but extremely important.

Typically, the person writing that Introduction, be it the emcee or someone they’ve delegated the task to, will search the internet for your name and grab something that looks like your bio. That information will be used to compose your Introduction.

Using myself as an example, it might go like this: “Our next speaker grew up, and still lives, in St. Louis, MO where he went to University City High School.

After graduating from the University of Missouri in 1971 with a degree in Business, his first job was selling for the Packaged Soap and Detergent Division of Procter & Gamble.

He did this for less than two years before becoming a serial entrepreneur, with most of his career being in the Office Coffee Service Business. He has owned, or been a partner in five enterprises.

Our presenter has been married for over forty-five years and has two children and four grandchildren.

His talk is titled, ‘The Fear of Public Speaking. Why we have it and Nuggets to lessen it.’

Help me welcome Fred Miller!”

That Introduction has absolutely nothing to do with any of my presentations. In fact, there is a disconnect between it and all my talks. Who would be excited about hearing my message after those words? No one!

The Introduction is not your bio. No one cares where you went to school, what hobbies you have, or the number of people living in your home.

The Introduction sets the stage for what is to come next. It should be like the king’s trumpeters letting those in attendance know something special is about to take place.

After the emcee introduces you, it is time for you to deliver a strong Opening.

It’s speaker’s responsibility to write their Introduction and it should cover three things:

Number One:WHY this subject?

It should be relevant to the audience. People ask themselves, “What’s in in it for me?” The Introduction should answer that question.

In formulating your Introduction, consider this: People will do more to avoid pain than seek pleasure.

Number Two:WHY this speaker?

These are your credentials and don’t be modest when writing them. The audience wants to know Why this speaker was chosen to talk on the subject.

Why should the presenter be trusted and believed?

The audience is investing time, sometimes money, and definitely opportunity cost.

Opportunity cost is: ‘I could be doing something else right now. Why is that person presenting? What gives them the right to talk on this subject?’

It’s far better to have a third party, the emcee, touting your experience and expertise on the topic than you. No one likes a braggart.

If you must introduce yourself it is called a ‘Credibility Statement’ and must be ‘toned down’ when being delivered.

Number Three: WHY now?

What are specific reasons this subject is being talked about at this time?

Your name, for the first time, should be the last thing, before taking the stage, the audience hears.

“Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities!”

As soon as a “Speaking Opportunity!” is received, you should inform the person in charge you will be preparing your Introduction. That document should be sent ASAP so no one spends time and effort composing one. If someone does, they’re liable to become emotionally invested and less likely they’ll use the one you supply.

The Introduction should be provided, so it’s easy to read, in large type. Highlight words to be emphasized, places to pause, and, if necessary, phonetics to correctly pronounce unfamiliar terms and names.

When sending it, ask to please email they’ve received it and to ask any questions after reviewing it. Explaining it is an important part of your presentation and providing this link: will help.

Important: This is also a “Speaking Opportunity!” for the person who will be serving as emcee. It may not be their forte and could be something they dread. The Introduction you’ve composed, and coaching its delivery, will make their task easier. Your goal is to make them a star!

If you can use humor in your Introduction, it’s a plus! Right after there is laughter is when you have the attention of most in the audience. Those watching and listening are cued to await another bit of wit. Those who missed it, and we have the attention span of a gnat, are upset they missed the quip and immediately focus on the person speaking. (Use that tip when developing your presentations, also!)

Example: DOWNLOAD One of my INTRODUCTIONS. (I suggest reading it before proceeding.) It is the result of a lot of hard work and many revisions. I still tweak it, now and then, for some audiences. For instance, the “Coffee Humor” is foreign to most high school students, and is it out.

Note how delivery instructions are included and colored text used for emphasis.

Following the above formula, let’s break it down.

Number One: WHY this subject?

“Many find climbing the career ladder, or succeeding in one’s own business, usually means doing some speaking in front of groups. It’s a huge credibility builder.

However, because of the Fear of Public Speaking, it’s an activity many dread.

It consistently ranks as one of the most common fears people share and holds many back from reaching their potential.”

Most people will relate to those words.

Number Two:WHY this speaker?

“If you have this fear, or just want to be a better presenter, our speaker has a message for you.

His books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!” are purchased internationally, and have rave reviews on

He has been interviewed by local, national, and international media.”

My credibility is established with the above verbiage. In the minds of many, being an author is a BIG thing. We perceive speakers and authors as EXPERTS. We like to work with EXPERTS, right?

If you haven’t written a book, you have one inside you, correct?

Here’s a suggestion: Include it in your Introduction this way. Say, “The Title of his/her Upcoming Book . . .”

That statement can enhance the perception of you as an EXPERT.

There are a number of other statements that can answer the question, “WHY this speaker?

  1. Years in an industry.

  2. Major accomplishments.

  3. Certifications and degrees.

  4. Title.

  5. Awards.

  6. Special Skills.

  7. Media events.

Number Three:WHY now?

What are specific reasons this subject is being talked about at this time?

“If you have this fear, or just want to be a better presenter, our speaker has a message for you.

The title of your talk and your name, for the first time, should be the last things, before taking the stage, the audience hears.

“The title of his talk is ‘NO SWEAT Public Speaking!’

Please help me welcome – Fred Miller!

Now, I walk to center stage, pause, and deliver my Opening!

Follow this formula for writing your Introductions and I guarantee your next presentation will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!


Write a Book!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and“NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts, and we like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver ‘Knock Your Socks Off Presentations!’ with – NO SWEAT!


  1. Keynote Speaker

  2. Workshop Facilitator

  3. Breakout Sessions

  4. Personal and Group Public Speaking and Presentation Coaching


  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Crafting Your Elevator Speech, Floor by Floor with – NO SWEAT!

  3. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  4. We are All Self-Employed!


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