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Why You Need a Great Intro Script Instead of Your Long Bio

It’s time to explore the best little tool to get your audience psyched for your speech.

5
minute read
Published on
November 15, 2023
Ditch the Long Bio and Create a Great Intro Script for Your Next Gig

This week, our topic comes to us from keynote speaker Robin Taub, who is busy booking gigs left and right. (Yay Robin!)  She wants to know how to kick off her speech with a truly great intro script.

The one thing that sets the stage for your audience and gets them psyched up for your session is that short little intro script… You know, it’s that little blurb of biographic joy that you send your event organizers in advance so someone can read it before you rocket onto the stage.

But, before we go any further, let me be clear.  Your intro script is NOT your bio printed in the event program.  It’s more special than that.

A GREAT intro is the perfect start to an amazing presentation…

But a WEAK intro leaves your audience feeling confused or bored… your introducer feeling awkward and embarrassed… and you feeling like you lost the game before you even got up to bat.

Instead of focusing on what makes a great intro script, I’m gonna throw you a curveball.  Here are ten things that make a BAD intro script. If you are doing any of these things, it’s time to power up your computer and start the rewrite!

Mistake #1: Your intro script is generic or bland.

A generic or bland intro script doesn’t have any personality.  It’s not unique and it doesn’t capture the audience’s attention.

I’d say it’s too “vanilla," but that’s an insult to a truly excellent flavor.  A generic intro script leaves everyone in the room completely uninterested and… well… zzzzz…

Mistake #2: It’s too long.

A good intro script should be short and punchy, especially if you’re a surprise and delight speaker.  My own script is only 79 words long.

You don’t need an excessively long intro script that just loses the audience’s interest before you even take to the stage.  That’s one reason your printed biography is not a good choice for your intro script.  It’s just too darn long.

Instead, you should get up there quickly after a short intro and start to wow them immediately!

Mistake #3: You fail to connect.

If your intro script doesn’t establish a clear connection between your background and the topic you’re about to discuss – or the audience you’re addressing – then it’s not an intro script that will capture their attention.

So make sure you get your audience excited… and KEEP them excited until you get up onto the stage.

Mistake #4: You include irrelevant details.

This one really bothers me. Your marketing audience doesn’t care that you like to read and go on walks with your pet Doberman.  Your real estate audience doesn’t care that you worked as a dental assistant that one summer in college.

If you’re including irrelevant personal or professional details that don’t connect with the audience or your topic, then please leave these details out!

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add the quirky, exotic details – like if you climbed Mt. Rushmore blindfolded – that’s interesting and okay to include. But, for the most part, leave out these irrelevant details.
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Mistake #5: Jargon overload!

Here’s a big one.

If you use technical jargon or industry-specific terms in your intro speech, the audience isn’t going to understand what you’re talking about.  That stuff leads to confusion and them wrinkling their brow in wonder.  

So, keep things simple and easy… leave the jargon out.

Mistake #6: Overwhelming credentials.

A lot of people have imposter syndrome, and they try to make sure people are dazzled by all of their amazing experiences (and all those fancy initials they have behind their names).

But really, you don’t need these extra credentials.  They’re not interesting to an audience, and they don’t add value.

For instance, people don’t care if you’re a certified speaking professional… or if you have a Master’s degree from CalTech… or a Doctorate from Kansas State.  Just leave that stuff off.

Mistake #7: Your intro lacks engagement.

Ahh… another big one.

If you have a dry and uninspiring script that doesn’t engage the audience emotionally or intellectually, it needs to be rewritten. Enough said.

Mistake #8: Humor that falls flat.

Jokes are great, but a joke that is told the wrong way does more harm than good.

And remember, the person reading your intro script doesn’t always have the right comedic timing or delivery to make your witty remark land with a bang.

Often, the person reading your intro script is a sponsor, employee, or even professional emcee.  Either way, they need to know how to deliver the joke.

If you have a joke that falls flat every single time, you’re better off removing it.

Mistake #9:  Words that are hard to pronounce.

This one happened to me.  

Years ago, I wrote for a famous and talented television writer named Charles Kuralt.  And that little morsel was included in my intro script.

But repeatedly, my introducer (is that what we call them?) would ask who he was and how to pronounce his name.  Most of the time, the audience didn’t know who he was either.  So, eventually, I decided to nix that bit from my script totally.

Life has been much easier since then.

Mistake #10: Excessive self-praise.

Yes, you are wonderful.  :)

But don’t use your intro script to make yourself sound more important and successful.  Oddly, the more details you include about yourself, the less important you sound.

Just think of how the most well-known speakers are introduced…

“Please welcome Bill Gates!”

That’s it.

Speakers like Tim Cook, Hillary Clinton, or Bill Gates don’t need a long, flowery intro.  So, the less you include in your intro, the MORE important you actually sound.

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Yep. That's the Intro Script Paradox: Your level of fame is inversely proportional to the length of your intro script.

Strange, isn’t it?

Write Your Own Amazing Intro Script

At the end of the day, a great intro script serves a simple purpose.  It helps you get onto the stage as fast as possible so the audience is energized and ready to see you in action.

If your intro script isn't doing that for you, it's time to make some changes. Reread, revise, and rewrite your intro script to create one that captures your audience's attention - from the very first word to the last.

When you have an intro script that shines, your audience will be eager to receive you with roaring applause. And you'll walk on stage with the confidence you need to give your best performance - every time.

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Learn more about building a sustainable speaking career.

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Mistake #5: Jargon overload!

Here’s a big one.

If you use technical jargon or industry-specific terms in your intro speech, the audience isn’t going to understand what you’re talking about.  That stuff leads to confusion and them wrinkling their brow in wonder.  

So, keep things simple and easy… leave the jargon out.

Mistake #6: Overwhelming credentials.

A lot of people have imposter syndrome, and they try to make sure people are dazzled by all of their amazing experiences (and all those fancy initials they have behind their names).

But really, you don’t need these extra credentials.  They’re not interesting to an audience, and they don’t add value.

For instance, people don’t care if you’re a certified speaking professional… or if you have a Master’s degree from CalTech… or a Doctorate from Kansas State.  Just leave that stuff off.

Mistake #7: Your intro lacks engagement.

Ahh… another big one.

If you have a dry and uninspiring script that doesn’t engage the audience emotionally or intellectually, it needs to be rewritten. Enough said.

Mistake #8: Humor that falls flat.

Jokes are great, but a joke that is told the wrong way does more harm than good.

And remember, the person reading your intro script doesn’t always have the right comedic timing or delivery to make your witty remark land with a bang.

Often, the person reading your intro script is a sponsor, employee, or even professional emcee.  Either way, they need to know how to deliver the joke.

If you have a joke that falls flat every single time, you’re better off removing it.

Mistake #9:  Words that are hard to pronounce.

This one happened to me.  

Years ago, I wrote for a famous and talented television writer named Charles Kuralt.  And that little morsel was included in my intro script.

But repeatedly, my introducer (is that what we call them?) would ask who he was and how to pronounce his name.  Most of the time, the audience didn’t know who he was either.  So, eventually, I decided to nix that bit from my script totally.

Life has been much easier since then.

Mistake #10: Excessive self-praise.

Yes, you are wonderful.  :)

But don’t use your intro script to make yourself sound more important and successful.  Oddly, the more details you include about yourself, the less important you sound.

Just think of how the most well-known speakers are introduced…

“Please welcome Bill Gates!”

That’s it.

Speakers like Tim Cook, Hillary Clinton, or Bill Gates don’t need a long, flowery intro.  So, the less you include in your intro, the MORE important you actually sound.

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Strange, isn’t it?

Write Your Own Amazing Intro Script

At the end of the day, a great intro script serves a simple purpose.  It helps you get onto the stage as fast as possible so the audience is energized and ready to see you in action.

If your intro script isn't doing that for you, it's time to make some changes. Reread, revise, and rewrite your intro script to create one that captures your audience's attention - from the very first word to the last.

When you have an intro script that shines, your audience will be eager to receive you with roaring applause. And you'll walk on stage with the confidence you need to give your best performance - every time.

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