Avoid Self-Intros

 I regularly encourage my executive presentation clients to avoid self-introductions whenever they can. The audience is influenced most by what they hear first and if that is the speakers talking about themselves, it can establish the wrong tone. 

  • With most internal presentations, the speakers are known to most, if not all of the audience. To be sure, a simple title slide on the screen can reinforce that Sarah Rossi is the SVP of Marketing. 
  • In most ‘guest appearance’ situations, the manager or leader can simply and briefly introduce the speaker – ‘Today, SVP Sarah Rossi will join us to discuss our new social media campaign. She’s been on board for five years, came from Apple and has an MBA in Marketing from Stanford. Please welcome Sarah.
  • When speaking to outside audiences, such as professional or civic groups, a simple speaker intro for the moderator will help speakers avoid taking about themselves.    
  • That intro should answer two typical questions audience members have – ‘Who is this person’? and ‘Why should I listen?’ and connect the speaker to the group or event where possible
  • Plus, electronic or printed event promotional material usually provide speaker background details to encourage attendance.
  • And when the moderator does deliver that brief intro, speakers should also avoid adding to it, like …’As Bill said, my background includes …. ‘ If those extra details are that important, they should be in the intro to start with to avoid repetition.

So, find audience-centric methods to introduce yourself without you doing it.