We all strive to make a powerful first impression when we meet someone new, so why do speakers so often settle for a ho-hum first impressions on their audience?
Essentially they blow a great opportunity to make an impact on this audience that will set them up for success.
What do I mean?
I work with brilliant speakers that want to go from good to “knocking it out of the park.” One of the most important things we look at to make that happen is the opening of their presentation; it has to be strong, entertaining, engaging and… I really like a good unexpected quality in there!
First impressions don’t start with you!
But even before you, the presenter, speaks, someone else speaks about you. I am talking about your intro.
Recently I was handed the bio from a website to read as the speaker’s intro. This is a common, and big mistake. Usually your website copy is created to be read not spoken aloud. I stumbled through run on sentences, difficult alliterations and awkward robot-type phrasing. (And with all my years in television I have some experience at making tough writing work! It was still very tough to make this “friendly.”)
Design your intro to set up your opening, like a teaser for a movie or TV show. Ideally, you will have a video intro that does just that, so you know your intro is always consistent and always just what you need to step into your presentation with ease!
If the budget isn’t there for a video yet, then script out a short biographical statement that shares what makes you unique and passionate. Make it conversational language so the person introducing you can look good, and read it easily.
Always carry a copy or two!
Print the intro out (at least 2 copies) and keep the font at least size 14.. so it can be easily read by anyone.. even those that forget their reading glasses.
You are setting yourself up for a successful first impression, and helping the producer of the event look good, too by keeping the flow and building excitement before you even take the stage.
If you want to “knock is out of the park” with your first impression reach out and set up a chat with me to see what’s possible. Sandra@CharismaOnCamera.com
Your feedback is welcomed! If you have thoughts, examples, or comments on first impressions of speakers you’ve heard, or even of your own, I’d love to have you share them in the comments below.