How to Optimize the Introduction for your Toastmasters Speech

First impressions when meeting people for the first time are very important because they have the ability to set the tone – positively or negatively – for new relationships. Similarly, when delivering a presentation at your Toastmasters club, the manner in which you and your presentation are introduced by the Toastmaster of the meeting can profoundly influence the effectiveness of your presentation. Your introduction is effectively the “first impression” the audience receives of your speech.

Make a Good First Impression

Here are two simple ways to optimize the effect of the speech introduction – also known as an “Intro”. The Intro is the content provided to the Toastmaster of the meeting recited to the audience immediately prior to the delivery of your speech.

Number one: Be concise with your Intro.

The more concise the Intro, the more likely the audience maintains concentration on it while the Toastmaster recites it. Remember, the audience is there to listen to your speech – not listen to a long-winded Intro. Help the Toastmaster help you “Get to the Point”! Prepare a simple and brief Intro stating your objectives and what the audience can gain from actively listening to it.

Number two: Help the Toastmaster make the delivery of your Intro the best it can be.

Do the Toastmaster a favor by providing a simply-worded and printed copy of your Intro in a font size of at least 14. Arrive for the meeting early, and ask the Toastmaster to familiarize with your Intro (as well as with the correct pronunciation of your name!) by reading it aloud to you as a rehearsal. If your Intro is sufficiently concise, this will take less than 60 seconds for the Toastmaster to do. Also, when it’s your turn to present, ask the Toastmaster to enthusiastically recite your Intro to the audience exactly as you created it. This way, your Intro will do its job: to set you up for success.

Preparing and providing the Toastmaster a solid, concise Speech Intro and collaborating with the Toastmaster prior to the start of the meeting can make a huge difference on how the audience reacts to your presentation. If you implement this strategy, you and your presentation will get the kickstart you and your presentation deserve.

If you need a template for your intro, please click on the following link => Sample Intro Template

Written by: Eric Linder, DTM

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