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How to be introduced at a conference

Tags: Be interesting | Presentations | Meetings | Impact | Influencing

13th March

I’ve spoken at hundreds of conferences over the past few years.

And I’ve been introduced in lots of different ways.

So I know how important the intro is. A good one makes it easy for you to be confident. A bad one can wreck everything.

Two jump out as ones that didn’t work…

One introducer had seen me deliver a similar keynote in the past. And, in his intro – which lasted ten minutes! – he told the audience my main messages I’d taught him last time. So, stealing all the content I was about to tell my audience!

Even better: the Grumpy Man, who said “I’ve been handed Andy’s bio. It says that he’s written some books. I didn’t know he’d written any. And it says that apparently he’s an expert on sales and communication. I suggest he comes up here and proves it.” And then he walked off the stage. Nice.

Over the years, I’ve found there are two things that work best with an introduction. And I always request my Introducer mentions both:

  1. Topic – why it’s needed
  2. Me – why I’m worth listening to

Topic – why it’s needed

I always want my Introducer to start by saying why the topic is important – “Last year, we didn’t hit our sales targets. And, this year, we have a new competitor, who is slashing their prices, which is wrecking our margins. We need to be able to up our game, to overcome these challenges. So we can hit our targets, and feel more confident going into sales meetings.”

Me – why I’m worth listening to

Then, once people recognise the need for the topic, it’s pretty easy to introduce me as someone who can help, using 2-3 of my relevant credentials – “Therefore, we’ve secured sales expert Andy Bounds to help us. We’ve chosen Andy because he (relevant credentials).”

That way, when I start my presentation, I know that everyone knows (1) the topic’s important and (2) I know what I’m talking about.

This helps them have confidence in me.

And it helps me have confidence in my presentation.

Great for everyone!

And certainly better than “I suggest he comes up here and proves it.”

Action Point

Next time you’re speaking at an event, ask someone to introduce you by using these two themes – why it’s needed; and why you’re good. Don’t just list your own credentials. People might think “She sounds amazing. But how does her amazingness relate to me?”

And if you’re introducing someone else, mention both elements. That kicks everything off in the right direction, makes everyone feel comfortable that the presentation is going to be useful… And, do you know what, when everyone thinks it’s going to be useful, it usually is!