We all have those hidden gems, those amazing stories, the great reveals that we like to use in our presentations to engage and surprise our audiences. You know, the little secrets, that most people don’t know about us until we as the speaker decide to announce it.
One of the worst things that can happen and take the wind out of our sails is when the MC or Chairperson, who may have researched us or asked questions about us, announces our secret as part their introduction. They may even cover some of our content and reveal one of our new ideas.
The rule is that every time you or I are presenting and we are going to be introduced, we provide the MC with your written biography and we ask them to stick to what has been written. No personal anecdotes, no ad libbing, no secret reveals.
I was at professional development seminar in Adelaide the other day and had the privilege of hearing Amy Cuddy speaking about her topic of “Presence”. The MC in their well scripted introduction also revealed that they had just learned a little known fact about Amy. They had just learnt that Amy’s husband is an Australian man from none other than Adelaide.
During the presentation Amy mentioned that she was planning to reveal to everyone that her husband was in fact a local boy and she was going to reveal this as part of her introduction. She said that in some ways Adelaide was her city in law. But because we already new this she moved through that point quickly.
It wasn’t overly dramatic, but you could see that this little fact was going to be part of Amy’s introduction and part of her strategy for connecting and building rapport with the audience. It was just diminished slightly by the MC who preempted Amy with the big reveal and by not following the set introduction.
So speakers, always brief you MC’s on your Bios’s and MC’s please stay with the provided biography in your introductions even if you know the speaker.