How to Introduce a Speaker so the audience will listen

If you are the MC or in charge of introducing a speaker at your event, there are few things you can do to make sure the audience is going to pay attention and listen.

It’s all about positioning the speaker. Yes you can just introduce the Speaker, but if you also position the speaker properly, the speaker will be able to have much more impact on the audience – and that’s the whole point of having the speaker on in the first place isn’t it?

Position the Speaker:

When I talk about positioning the speaker I’m talking about putting them in context for the audience. A really good intro that positions the speaker will answer the following questions for the audience:

  • Who are they/ what do they do?
  • Why are they here to talk to the audience?
  • What are they talking about?
  • Why do they matter?
  • Why should we listen to them?


This can be as simple as something like:

Our speaker today is a Small Business Owner and is here to talk about social media strategy. They have recently finished a campaign for an [Impressive Client] and when I met them at a networking function I asked them if they could come and share some tips with this group. If you want to double your leads on Facebook then please pay attention to our next speaker. Please give a warm welcome to [Speaker’s Name]


I first came across our next Speaker in an article I saw in the [Name of Magazine/TV/Paper]. The event organisers thought that it would be very inspiring to hear their story and share their tips on dealing with change, especially in light of what is currently happening in our Industry. Here to share their observations on the challenges we are currently facing, please welcome [Speaker’s Name] to the stage.

While these intro’s are very brief, you will see that they actually contain quite a lot of information and positioning statements that give credibility, relevance and most importantly a reason for the audience to listen up!

Encourage Applause:

Finally, one of the most important parts of positioning is to get the Speaker to walk on stage (or in front of the group) to applause. Audience applause will stop the “dead air” or awkward silence as a Speaker makes their way to the front of the room and makes it much more comfortable for everyone involved.

By finishing up your introduction with something obvious like:
“please welcome [Speaker’s Name]” or
“Please give a warm welcome to [Speaker’s Name]” or
“welcome to the stage [Speakers Name]”
it gives the audience a very easy to recognise cue that they need to take action and clap.

Sometimes you may need to take the lead and start the applause yourself, but it’s exceptionally rare that you’d be left hanging and no-one else joins in – so be brave and give it a go! (Note if you are going to start the applause yourself – make it loud and enthusiastic so that everyone else joins in at that level. If you start soft and half-hearted you can guarantee the audience will do the same and follow your lead and it’ll be a disaster.)

So that’s it. Don’t just introduce your next Speaker, position them properly and bring them onto the stage with applause and see what sort of difference it makes to your next event.