You've got to be careful how you introduce an employee at a company meeting; if your intro is lackluster, people might zone out before the speech begins. On the other hand, don't make your speech too dynamic -- you'll set your speaker up for failure if yours is a tough act to follow. Model your intro after the perfect pitch -- easy, relaxed and in control -- so your speaker can knock it out of the park.
You’ve heard the saying before -- “It's not what you say, but how you say it.” Be enthusiastic during your introduction. Present your employee in a way that conveys interest in her topic, and shows that you respect her expertise. Hopefully your mood will be contagious, and you’ll set the stage for a warm welcome. Remember to smile, gesture with your hands, make eye contact with your audience, and speak with genuine inflection and emotion.
Why and What
One of the main purposes of your introduction should be to to explain your employee’s topic, and tell your audience why the subject matters. For example, “I know we’ve been having a lot of instances of students copying and pasting papers they’ve found online, and passing them off as their own. Professor Langston is going to talk to you about how to recognize plagiarism; she’s also going to introduce a new software that can detect whether or not a term paper is original.”
Its All in the Details
Mention a few pertinent details about your employee’s background and qualifications; this gives the audience confidence in your employee’s ability to discuss the subject matter effectively. Throw in an interesting fact about the speaker as well, to pique the audience’s interest. For example, “Professor Langston has been a university faculty member for fifteen years. She’s authored three books, and has won numerous awards. And she makes the best lasagna in the world!”
Don’t embarrass your speaker (or yourself) by getting any of the introductory information incorrect. Clarify the pronunciation of your employee’s first and last name before your speech, and fact check any details you’re planning to divulge. Refer to notes if you have to -- it's better to glance at a note card and get the information right, than to wing it and get it wrong.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.