Toastmaster: Ann Hastings
Speaker: Lisa Lockhart
Evaluator: Hellena Jones-Elbling

At the Speech Craft for Freedom Writers on February 08, 2014

Introducing The Speaker

The purpose of the introduction is to prepare the audience for the speaker.


  • Refocus interest from where listeners were before to where the speaker wants them to be;
  • Set the tone of the speech and create a positive, friendly environment;
  • Build the foundation for the speaker’s talk – why the subject is important and why the audience should find it for interest;
  • Establish the speaker’s authority — any experience, expertise, or special knowledge the speaker has in the subject area;
  • Establish a bond between the speaker and the audience — what special reason the speaker has for speaking about the chosen topic; and,
  • Create a positive, friendly environment — make the speaker feel welcome.

A good introduction is a mini-speech, with an opening, a body, and a conclusion.

Essentials to include:

  • The speaker’s name;
  • The topic of the speech, including how the speech will benefit the audience; and,
  • The title of the speech — usually mentioned at the end of the introduction.

Additions for a Toastmasters manual speech:

  • The speech assignment, including the manual, project number and project title;
  • The speech objectives — of both the project and the speaker; and,
  • The length of the speech — e.g, 3-5 minutes, 5-7 minutes, etc.

The whole introduction should be last 30-45 seconds. Make it short and make it count.

Lectern etiquette:

  • Speak to the audience: Maintain primary contact until the speaker is introduced;
  • Lead the applause as the speaker comes to the lectern;
  • Shake hands before relinquishing the lectern; and,
  • Show interest throughout the speech especially while in view of the audience.

After the speech:

  • Meet the speaker at the lectern;
  • Shake hands;
  • Lead the applause as the speaker returns to his or her seat or leaves the room.