How to Write an Introduction That Engages Any Audience

Jeff Korhan introducing Mark Schaefer at Social Media Marketing World

I recently had the pleasure of helping other speakers as a track leader for Social Media Marketing World.

It was an interesting experience for me because typically I am the speaker, so in this situation I was assuming the role of those that help me to look good in front of an audience.

My primary responsibility was introducing every speaker to the audience, facilitating questions, and properly thanking them. In other words, doing the necessary work to make them look good for this live event.

There is a lesson in this for all of us, because every business is serving multiple audiences.

We all know that first impressions are important for establishing relationships and building trust. Therefore, an introduction becomes a powerful tool that prepares the audience for what will follow. For speakers this is the presentation.

For your business, this is most likely your content marketing or social media.

Thus, the dynamic of introducing a speaker to an audience is one that any business can apply to situations where they are being introduced to potential buyers, which may be an audience of one or many.

It’s a simple process of helping them to get to know, like, and trust you.

#1 – Use Key Words to Help Us Get to Know You

While reviewing the speaker introductions I began to wonder which words were the most important for connecting with the audience, and therefore deserved special emphasis.

Let’s face it, most people are not good listeners, so it’s important to carefully choose the words that will reliably resonate with them. One way to accomplish this is with emphasis and repetition.

If it’s not about you (as we all know), then why are introductions and marketing messages often all about you or your business?

Make yours about the audience you serve to help them better understand how you can help them.

Review all of your social media bios, and sales and marketing messages in general, to be sure that they include key words that instantly connect with your audience.

#2 – Use Your Personality to Help Us Like You

A speaker’s personality will become evident from the first few moments of his or her presentation. Logically then, that personality should be embedded within the introduction that precedes it.

During one of my introductions the audience began applauding as soon as they heard the speaker’s name. I paused to allow the laughter and enthusiasm to breathe. When I returned to the script, that energy intensified even further.

A great introduction is powerful for engaging your audience. Tweet this.

Is there is a wow factor that your business is known for? That personality should be reflected in your social media and content marketing introductions, which are often your social media profiles.

#3 – Introduce Benefits in Advance to Earn the Trust of Your Audience

For an offer to be entertained, it’s helpful when the audience understands the benefits it will deliver in advance. This prepares them for the call to action that should be preceded by an educational message that sets it up.

This is your content marketing. For a speaker, this is the presentation.

When people know and like you, and also understand in advance where you are taking them, it’s easier for them to entrust you with their hearts and minds.

Content marketing and social media marketing are very much like a great presentation that takes an audience on a journey whose destination is even better than they had imagined.  If your business properly introduces that possibility and delivers on it, then it will achieve outcomes that resemble a standing ovation.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.