Please DO Read the Speaker's Introduction Word for Word

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

If you are introducing a speaker at a meeting, conference or event, it's not only okay to read his or her written introduction word for word, it's also necessary.

Introductions are one of the rare exceptions to the "don't read your presentation" rule.

The speaker will have prepared the introduction carefully and included the information he or she would like to share with this particular audience. (The introduction will be shorter than the speaker's full bio which might have been included with the event invitation.)

There is no need to memorize the introduction.  Memorizing is very difficult to do and your focus would be on remembering the words rather than engaging the audience.

And there is no need to hide the fact that you're reading the introduction. Practice reading it, so you can do so in a comfortable, confident and engaging manner and look up occasionally to make eye contact with the audience.

If you have any questions about pronunciation, ask the speaker. If there are special logistics, such as having to read the introduction in snyc with slides, practice it fully with the speaker before the event.

And please, try not to ad lib. I've seen introducers try to make a joke about the speaker - and the joke falls flat, or worse, sounds insulting.

(For more on how jokes can ruin a presentation, see my blog post, 4 Reasons Not to Start Your Presentation With a Joke,

The first few minutes of a presentation are critical and your introduction of the speaker can help set the stage for success.

And if you're the speaker, see my blog post, 5 Tips for Creating a Crisp and Memorable Introduction
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