1. Always write your own. Always. Never leave it to someone else to do it or, worse yet, make it up on the fly. They will leave out key things you wanted mentioned and put in things you may have never wanted mentioned. The intro could have zero to do with your talk as well.

2. Get to the damn point, keep it brief. A few sentences should be enough. If you have to write 2 or three graphs you are overselling yourself and making it about you not about them. Plus, you are probably putting in way more material that is completely unnecessary. By restricting it to a few sentences, you will more carefully choose your words for maximum impact.

3. Set the tone with what you do put in there. It should reflect you and the material you are going to be covering.

4. Use humor when you can. Getting people to laugh is a great way to warm up a crowd. This doesn’t mean putting a joke in there but even something anecdotal, particularly if it is catered to the audience, will go a long way in getting acceptance before you even speak. One liners are a go to if I want to toss a joke in. Like-“Lewis comes from a long line of entertainers. His grandfather was the human cannonball in the circus. He got paid two dollars a day…plus mileage.”

5. Send it well ahead of time and bring a copy with you on the day you speak. I print mine on card stock so the paper is heavier and I use clear, large, bold type to make it easier to read. Black and white, avoid colors because you never know how the lighting will be. Provide it to the person introducing you when you arrive.

6. Request that the person introducing you actually READ it ahead of time. I was once introduced by the President of a college who clearly didn’t take the time to read my intro. Here’s this highly educated man stumbling thru my intro which was insulting to me, when it was easily fixable. And if you are the one doing the introduction, pay the person the courtesy of reading it beforehand. You never know if they are going to throw in a name or word you don’t know how to pronounce. If you are unsure, ask.

7. A last additional “don’t”: don’t throw in words or names most won’t know how to pronounce. And if it just so happens to be YOUR name, make sure you let them know how to say it and maybe even put it phonetically, in parenthesis, on the intro.

About the Author Lewis Chaney

A TEDx Alumnus with over 25 years in TV broadcasting, advertising, and filmmaking, Lewis D. Chaney has mastered the art of getting to the damn point.

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Most companies are wasting an enormous amount of TIME & MONEY on employees with poor communication skills.

Get To The Damn Point teaches your employees how to SAY LESS and BE HEARD MORE - meaning higher meeting ROI, empowered employees, and stronger salespeople.

Lewis D Chaney of GET TO THE DAMN POINT speaks at TEDx Evansville
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