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Key Ingredients for a Killer Introduction

Techniques for an impressive, attention-grabbing introduction.


These are the EXACT same steps I used to position myself as an expert and profit from speaking in less than 6 months.

by Pam Terry in Blog, Mastering Public Speaking
January 18, 2012 4 comments

Key Ingredients for a Killer Introduction

Your introduction is the most opportune time to grab the attention of your audience and make a great impression. It’s also the most opportune time to lose them and make a terrible impression. Either way, the point is, a great introduction is vital to an effective presentation.

I love Peter Jeff’s “Tease ’em to please ’em” analogy. He uses Saturday Night Live’s approach to dive right in before you actually introduce yourself.   Jeff’s acronym is TEASE – which stands for:

T- Testimonial
E- Evidence
A- Anecdote
S- Statement
E- Example

The whole idea is to provide information that the audience is fawning over not yawning over!! Cite a celebrity or influential person, tell a story, provide evidence, give examples, and make a statement to verify your information.

Jon Marshall has 5 different ways to “start your presentation off strong.”

  1. Personal story – people love a good story
  2. Joke – risky but excellent if you succeed in being funny
  3. Video – could work if it’s short and interesting – but you need to tell the audience what and why
  4. Thank the audience – show appreciation
  5. Ask a question or start a conversation – can work for or against you – if you ask a tired question

Here’s a link to Steve Jobs introduction at his 2005 commencement speech to the Yale graduating class – it’s short and grabs their attention.

You will want to listen to the entire 17 minutes because after all it’s Steve Jobs. His presentation is incredibly interesting and inspiring.

Your introduction needs to be short, to the point, grab attention. Consequently, prepare your introduction, know it by heart and practice it. Don’t sweat over it, just prepare it.

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Pam Terry

Pam Terry is a public speaker coach and marketing strategist who has helped hundreds of people become compelling speakers and get business from speaking. Her straightforward style empowers experts to experience joyful self-expression. And, her talent for creating structure and systems enables her clients to accelerate their success! For more tips and resources, join The In Demand Speaker Official Group on Facebook at
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  1. Sharon Reitman says:

    Very interesting blog, I will use these tips when I speak next time 🙂

  2. Pamela H Terry says:

    Thank you Sharon!

  3. Calvince says:

    Thank you. I also imagine that a good introduction can help a presenter to overcome fear and nervousness especially if it is a successful introduction. Try and fail. You will be better. Try again. You will be refined. Try again. You could be the best.

    1. Pam Terry says:

      Yes, Calvince, I totally agree. Preparation and practice definitely help to overcome fear and nervousness as well as focusing on your commitment to provide value (rather than focusing on yourself).

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These are the EXACT same steps I used to position myself as an expert and profit from speaking in less than 6 months.