Allow me to introduce……
You would think an introduction of a speaker or presenter would be pretty easy. Mention their name, a bit about what they do, what you think, a couple of wise cracks to embarrass them, a few gratuitous laughs and job done. WRONG!! Work colleagues and friends are famous for this type of introduction. They think they are being funny and getting the audience ready for you but what they are really doing is minimizing your credibility as the speaker or presenter and making themselves look like knuckleheads. The importance of the introduction cannot be minimised. It is crucial and indeed does have a massive impact in preparing the audience for what they are about to hear.
As a speaker, I would ensure I have prepared my own intro and spoken to the MC to ensure they are clear that they are to read what is provided and NO ad-libbing.
As an MC, I would contact the speaker and ask them to provide their own introduction or the key points they want you to include. So what makes a great introduction?
1 The Speakers Name
An introduction should be brief and well planned. Don’t try to present too many facts in the short time. Writing a good introduction is only half the job. The other half includes a relaxed professional delivery that creates a friendly link between the speaker and the audience. An introduction should take only 1-2 minutes.
What should NOT be part of an introduction?
These should be avoided at all costs.
“Our next speaker is (Speakers name) and their speech topic is (Speech Title)
Remember this is about preparing the audience for the presentation.
If you’re presenting multiple speakers a professional introduction will also include recognition of the previous speaker. A few well-chosen remarks keeping it brief would be appropriate then moving on to your introduction.
Don’t under estimate your importance as the introducer and the role your introduction plays in preparing the audience and setting the scene for a successful presentation.
As always we look forward to your comments and feedback.
Until next week, my name is Con and I am The Con Versationalist
Do You Have a Job Interview Coming Up?
A job interview can be very intimidating for many people. Nerves, anxiety and fear can become all-consuming as the hour approaches. Here are a few tips to help you nail it.
Before you go in, take a few big deep breaths. You see when you’re stressed, your body produces Cortisol. Cortisol reduces you IQ by up to as much as 50% within 5 minutes. If you don’t believe me, just think back to a decision you made when you were stressed. I’m sure when you looked back on it with the advantage of hindsight, it probably wasn’t one of your best decisions. Breathing deeply will calm you and reduce and reduce your Cortisol levels.
Look Confident, Be Confident.
We often talk about the importance of first impressions. Having and demonstrating confidence provides a great first impression. Body Language is a crucial component of the first impression. How do you hold yourself? How is your posture, eye contact and hand shake? You need to make sure you stand straight with your shoulders back. Posture matters. Your eye contact should be engaging, along with a natural smile. Finally, the handshake. One of the most off putting things is the “limp, wet fish” handshake. The idea isn’t to cut off the circulation in the persons hand but a good firm, 2 pump handshake indicates confidence. Overall, your Body Language needs to convey your confidence in not only yourself but in your ability for the role. Your Body language message needs to be “I am confident and I am the person for the job”
Um, Err, Ah
I recently did some private coaching for a gentleman of an ethnic back ground who has an upcoming interview. We conducted a mock interview and recorded it for later review. He was astounded to see that every response was preceded with a long Ahhh. His responses were also littered Um’s and Er’s. Over use of these can create disinterest and a disconnect. One of the best strategies to help limit or remove these is to pause. Pausing allows you some think time but also provides an opportunity for others to process what you have already said. Next time you feel an Um, Err or Ah coming on, stop and pause. I guarantee you, the silence isn’t awkward, it’s golden.
Your resume will have all your skills and previous work experience but what I’m looking for as an interviewer is situations when the applicant actually utilized the particular skill or talent i.e. Leadership. One of the most practical structured response methods is the PREP method.
Knowing some important details about your prospective employer is a great tip. Not only does this show a genuine interest but could also provide questions which you would like answered. There is really no excuse nowadays. We all have access to Google all at our fingertips.
One of my early mentors said to me “always dress better than your best dressed customer”. Certainly sage advice. It’s always better to be over dressed than under dressed but that said, your dress should be commensurate for the position you are being interviewed for.
Good luck and think positive!
Until next week, my name is Con and I am The Con Versationalist
But I’m not in sales….
It’s an interesting conversation when I enquire what people do. The only people who mention sales are the people who literally sell a product or service. What about the rest? Engineers, architects…… But here’s the thing, we are ALL in sales. We may not be directly selling a product or service but we’re selling our ideas, plans and most importantly, selling ourselves!
As a team leader or department manager, you’re selling your leadership, idea’s and culture of both yourself and the organizations. You need everyone on board to create a productive and happy environment.
I’ve dealt with many other professional disciplines over the years and whilst being highly skilled in their chosen field, some lacked the communication skills to adequately articulate or “sell their ideas and themselves.
One of the core components of a speech or sales presentation is the acronym WIIFM, “What’s In It for me”, “Me” being the client, listener or audience. What solution are you providing to a problem or situation? The professionals I mentioned earlier did not clearly articulate what the benefit for the client was or his problem they were solving i.e. “What was in it for him”.
It’s a bit like trying to sell a 2 seater sports car the family man who needs a people mover or convincing the girl you just met at the bar what a great husband you would be when she is already married or looking for a friendship. The sports car might be the best performance vehicle on the market at a price never to be repeated but to the guy who has just become the father of sextuplets, it might as well be a submarine!
As we are all in sales in one way or another, to better sell ourselves, ideas, requests or products, we need to establish what is the desired outcome or result the other party or parties is looking for or trying to achieve. And how do we do this? Ask better questions and clarify the answers with more questions.
At a job interview and performance review, you’re selling you. Can you adequately communicate the features and benefits you bring to the role and organization and why you deserve that pay rise?
The WIIFM is a critical component in your sales presentation. Remember, it’s not about you, it never was. It’s about the value you bring to every transaction and interaction in life. Family and loved ones included.
I look forward to your feedback and until the next edition, my name is Con and I am
“The Con Versationalist.”
Con is an accomplished and articulate speaker and presenter with over 25 years of high level sales experience.