How To Introduce A High-profile Speaker

How To Introduce A High-Profile Speaker Such As A Religious Leader Or Politician: An Example    By Gene Griessman, PhD

Recently I was asked to introduce Ken Futch,  a Hall of Fame professional speaker. Afterward Futch told me it was the best introduction he’s ever received. If that’s even partly true, it’s quite a compliment because Ken Futch been introduced literally thousands of times.

The introduction that I gave is below.

(You may want to skip the next few paragraphs which contain some rules that I follow when I do an introduction.)

If you’re introducing a celebrity, chances are he/she will want you to read a prepared introduction verbatim.

But If you create the introduction yourself, here are some guidelines.

One. Brevity. Keep it short. If you steal the speaker’s precious time, the speaker will resent it, and so will the audience

Two. Credibility. Has the speaker written a book, won an award, spoken somewhere important? Again, keep it short. But not too short. If the speaker has done something really important, you need to tell it

Three. Complimentary description. What does the speaker do well?

Four. Humor. But be careful. What you think is funny may not be funny to the audience, or worse, may be embarrassing to the speaker.

Ask the speaker if it’s OK and if it passes that test, do a test run with other people to see if they think it’s funny. The rule to follow: If in doubt, don’t.

That said, here’s my introduction.

“I sometimes do a keynote that I call nine secrets of high achievers. And I make this statement:

‘If you want to be good at anything, find someone who’s really good at what you want to do, study them and do what they do.’

Our speaker this morning is worth studying because he does well what we all want to do: communicate effectively.

He’s presented often on national stages. And he’s an NSA Hall Of Fame speaker.

It’s been my good fortune to study his career up close and to know why he’s so exceptionally good at what he does.

One. he spends a lot of time preparing. He doesn’t wing it. I have known him spend hours on a two-minute presentation…just like Abraham Lincoln did for his two minutes at Gettysburg.

Two. He has deep knowledge of his subject matter. Competence is patterns stored in memory. He’s a humorist. He’s stored lots of patterns in his memory. He knows every joke that’s ever been told…since Noah and his family left the ark.

Three. He pays attention to small details. Whether you’re funny or not can depend on a single word, where it’s placed in a sentence, how it’s pronounced, how and when you pause.

It’s craft. And he is a master craftsman.

Lately he has begun to make a name for himself…giving eulogies at funerals. In fact people have started doing advance bookings.

I’ve long thought that you have not lived in vain if you get an obituary in The NY Times. But if you can’t manage that…a eulogy by our the next best thing.

I know you’ll want to join me in giving a warm and enthusiastic welcome to my friend…Ken Futch.”

THE Lincoln Quotation Book

Don’t get embarrassed using a spurious Lincoln quote. Every quotation in this book is authentic. 

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’re in a goldmine. Check out the great power phrases and unusual quotations. You’re already here. Why rush off?


Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
This entry was posted in Etiquette, Humor/Jokes and How To Tell Jokes, Public Speaking, Weddings, funerals,graduations, and other occasions, Writing/How To Write letters, notes,articles, email, books and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.