GOOD SPEAKERS DESERVE
by ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.
Recently, I heard Dr.
Frances Connelly, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University Hospital, introduced by
a former high school classmate as “Frannie ... who does something in
The insult was not
intended. The woman making the
introduction was obviously self-conscious and didn’t realize the importance of
properly credentialing her speaker.
We seem at our worst
when the person we are introducing is someone known to us.
Is it really true that familiarity breeds contempt - or is it our desire
to get off stage quickly that allows us to be so indifferent and rude?
Or, do we not realize the value of the speaker?
It is very difficult
for a speaker to offer his or her own credentials, yet all speakers want to be
fully introduced so you will learn about their expertise in the area in which
they are speaking.
The person assigned
to making the introductions should realize that this is a very important
component of the presentation itself. It is a third party endorsement and sets the tone for the
manner in which the speaker will be received.
Before you get up to
make the introductions, take the time in advance to read the information
presented to you by the speaker. Ask
questions if necessary.
Decide in advance
what you are going to say and don’t be afraid to read the list of degrees,
accomplishments, credentials given to you. You diminish the speaker and yourself if you fail to take the
responsibility of making the introduction seriously.
speaker needs you to do this for her or him. If you do less for the speaker, the speech itself will be of