5 min read

How to Introduce a Guest Speaker at an Event

Written by
Len Gauger
Published on
February 12, 2024

If you're concerned about how to approach introducing a guest speaker at an event, you are not alone. Many hosts experience the same dilemma, regardless of their experience Especially if the guest speaker is a public figure, there will be some pressure to get the intro right. Check out the guidelines to follow below to polish your introduction and set the stage for a personal, relevant, and engaging conversation for the next big event you host. 

Introducing Your Guest Speaker

Drive engagement to your event by getting a group of reputable guest speakers. As you introduce each speaker, you form a connection between the audience and the speaker. It also provides context that allows the audience to appreciate the speaker's expertise and relevance to the event’s theme. 

A well-crafted speech creates anticipation, sparking interest and enthusiasm among listeners. It also sets a positive tone for the guest speaker, paving the way for a welcoming atmosphere. An introduction serves as a bridge, aligning the speaker's background with the event's purpose so that the audience understands the significance of what they’re about to share on stage. 

Sharing key accomplishments and qualifications builds credibility for the speaker, fostering trust and engagement among the audience. Ultimately, an effective introduction not only showcases the speaker but also enhances the experience for the audience, making your event memorable and impactful.

10 Keys to Introducing a Guest Speaker at Events

Introducing a guest speaker doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are some guidelines to get you started.

1. Set the Tone

The introduction serves as the opening act of an event, setting the tone for what is to come. It’s the initial opportunity to capture the audience's attention, create anticipation, and generate enthusiasm for the upcoming presentation. Instead of just presenting facts, focus on establishing a connection between the speaker and the audience by making it entertaining. A well-crafted introduction bridges the gap, making the speaker relatable and relevant to the listeners.

2. Prepare for the Introduction

Thorough research is the foundation of a successful introduction. Gather information about the speaker's professional background, achievements, notable projects, and recent accomplishments. Familiarize yourself with their style of speaking and key talking points.

3. Understand Your Audience

Knowing your audience is critical; consider the attendees' demographics, interests, and expectations. Tailor your introduction to resonate with the audience, ensuring it captures their attention and maintains their interest.

If possible, collaborate with the guest speaker before the event. Discuss the key points they want emphasized, any specific anecdotes to share, and the overall tone they prefer for the introduction.

4. Structure the Introduction

Organize your thoughts and structure the introduction logically. Consider incorporating elements such as a brief personal connection, the speaker's achievements, relevance to the event, and a call to action for the audience.

Once you're ready with the piece, go ahead with the introduction. Begin with a compelling hook that captures the audience's attention. This could be a thought-provoking question, a relevant quote, or a surprising fact about the guest speaker.

You also want to establish a personal connection between the speaker and the audience. Share anecdotes or personal experiences that humanize the speaker and make them more relatable to the listeners. When talking about speakers, focus on their top achievements and contributions. Mention relevant awards, affiliations, publications, or any of their groundbreaking projects to build credibility and showcase the speaker's expertise.

5. Align With the Event Theme

Connect the speaker's background and expertise to the overarching theme or purpose of the event. Explain why the speaker was chosen and how their insights will contribute to the event's goals. Encourage audience engagement by incorporating interactive elements. Pose rhetorical questions, ask for a show of hands, or share exciting trivia related to the speaker's field to maintain the audience's interest.

6. Check the Length

While it's essential to cover key points, keep the introduction concise. Aim for a balance between providing sufficient information and maintaining the audience's interest. Typically, introductions should last no more than a few minutes.

During that short introduction, create anticipation for the speaker's presentation. Tease the audience with a glimpse of what they can expect, generating excitement for the insights and perspectives the speaker is about to share.

7. Nail the Delivery

Rehearse your introduction multiple times to ensure a confident and smooth delivery. Pay attention to your tone, pacing, and overall presentation. Practice in front of a mirror or with a colleague to receive feedback. Adopt a tone that aligns with the event's atmosphere and the speaker's style. Whether a formal corporate event or a casual gathering, tailor your tone to the overall ambiance.

8. Incorporate Vocal Variety

Vary your pitch, tone, and pace to keep the audience engaged. A monotonous delivery leads to disinterest, so use vocal variety to emphasize key points and maintain energy. Feeling nervous is natural, but managing your nerves is crucial for success. Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, before taking the stage. Remember that your goal is to enhance the speaker's introduction, not to draw attention to yourself.

9. Use Proper Body Language

Pay attention to your body language, maintain eye contact with the audience, stand with good posture, and use hand gestures sparingly to emphasize points. Confident body language enhances the impact of your introduction.

As you step onto the stage, immediately capture the audience's attention—project confidence and enthusiasm to create a positive and receptive atmosphere. Next, you want to express gratitude for the speaker's presence. Acknowledge their willingness to share their expertise and insights with the audience.

Now, you want to clearly announce the speaker's name and provide a brief transition to hand over the stage. Use phrases like "Without further ado, let's welcome..." to smoothly transition to the main presentation.

10. Handle Challenges

Be prepared to adapt to any last-minute changes to the event schedule or the speaker's information. Stay flexible and remain composed in the face of unexpected challenges. In case of technical difficulties, have a backup plan. Be ready to transition fluidly and maintain the audience's engagement while technical issues are resolved.

Finally, if time constraints are a concern, prioritize the most essential information about the speaker. Focus on key achievements and relevant background to ensure a concise yet impactful introduction.

The Bottom Line

Remember to be genuine and positive in your introduction, and adapt your approach based on the nature of the event and the preferences of the speaker. An exciting introduction elevates the audience's perception of the speaker and contributes to a successful event

Book a demo with Connect Space to find out how to promote attendee networking with our matchmaking app.

Len Gauger

Len Gauger is the innovative founder and CEO of Connect Space. Gauger has an impressive background, previously serving as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense. He showcases a unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit, strategic vision, and a knack for tech innovation. His diverse experiences have equipped him to effectively lead Connect Space, an events management platform company based in the bustling tech startup environment of Ann Arbor.