We recently had the privilege of hearing a speech from our long-time Toastmasters member Christian, based on The Better Speaker’s Series. He talked about how to prepare a well-crafted introduction that establishes the speaker’s authority and expertise, and helps to set the tone for the speech.

Christian kindly prepared an article on this subject so that it can be of benefit to all of us Toastmasters.

Here is the article prepared by Christian :


This outline of an introduction of an official or a speaker explains its essence, what it must include and what must be avoided. It can be used as a suggested guide for Toastmasters.

THE ESSENCE: The introduction provides a transition and helps the audience members to refocus their attention on the official or the speaker.
The introduction also establishes the speaker’s authority, outlining the speaker’s background and expertise relating to the topic.
The presenter sets the tone in creating a friendly atmosphere. He or she is building up a sense of expectation and excitement.

CONTENT: The essential points to be included in the introduction are:
speaker’s name. To be said clearly, especially at the end of the introduction. Should the name be foreign to the audience, write it out phonetically and confirm it with the speaker.
-speaker’s topic. Briefly relate the speaker’s background and expertise to the topic. Succinctly explain how the topic is relevant and appropriate to the audience.
-title of speech. Clearly and distinctly stated. There is a general tendency for the Introducers to rush through the title of the speech.
-speech assignment. The Toastmasters basic Communication and Leadership Program Manual contains 10 Projects. You indicate what Project number the speaker has chosen and the name of the Project.
Project objectives: Clearly and slowly read the objectives, as set out in the Manual. Should the speaker have a special objective, state it for the purpose of the evaluations.
-delivery time. Inform the audience and the timer of the length of the speech.

never upstage the speaker. Veteran Toastmasters tend to introduce their own experience and opinion in the introduction. The speaker is the star, not the Introducer.
-no preview of the contents. The subject matter of the speech is the domain of the speaker; restrict yourself to the disclosure of the speech’s general subject area.
-never surprise. Embarrassing or inaccurate information will fluster the speaker.
no lavish praise. Do not create unreasonable expectations.
-never use clichés. Trite phrases, such as: Without further ado…… this speaker needs no introduction… It gives me great pleasure to present …have no place in an introduction.
-do not save the speaker’s name for the last. Incorporate the speaker’s name once or twice during the introduction before clearly repeating it at the end.

TIMING OF THE INTRODUCTION. A 30 /45 second introduction is sufficient for a Manual speech. For a longer presentation, up to two minutes is in order.

THE REWARD OF A WELL-CRAFTED INTRODUCTION. Creating and delivering a well-crafted introduction enhances the speaker’s speech, earns his or her gratitude and helps the audience appreciate the speech.

This outline has been inspired by Toastmasters International The Better Speaker’s Series Set-CREATING AN INTRODUCTION. Published by Toastmasters International.

Christian Turianskyj, ATMSilver, St. Lawrence Toastmasters, Number 606, District 61.