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Introduce the Speaker – Speciality Speeches #5

5. Introduce the Speaker

Objectives: Focus on the special occasion talk from the standpoint of the introducer (function, chairman, toastmaster, master of ceremonies). Become knowledgeable and skilled in the functions associated with the master of ceremonies. Handle the introduction of other speakers at a club meeting.

I have been involved with Casterbridge Speakers since it started in 2008 – that’s getting on for four years. It was never my intention to complete the Competent Communicators manual within my fourth year … more like my first.  However!  I have learnt more about being a proficient public speaker from the facilitation roles I have played in the club meetings than I have from the prepared speeches. For that I am truly grateful. 

The latest thing I have learnt is how important it is to brief your Toastmaster about how you want to be introduced.

We are taught that when we deliver a speech we should consider and appeal to the needs of our audience.  The Toastmaster’s one minute introduction to your speech is your opportunity to prepare the audience as to what is going to happen next. 


If your speech is a serious and thought provoking one, then you may wish to have the audience in a reflective mood prior to your opening.  If you intend to deliver an up beat and humorous speech you might prefer a Roast rather than a Toast.  If your speech is an inspirational one then some edicts around how you’ve inspired before could add some authority.

The Toastmaster’s role is not to hijack your subject matter; instead it should be a subtle introduction to you, your credibility and your subject that leaves the audience with eager anticipation of your opening.

These are the three introduction I prepared for the advanced speakers project on Introducing the Speaker:

Vikki Boyers

Our first speaker tonight is Vikki Boyers introduced to Casterbridge Speakers by Rosie Barfoot. Vikki joined Casterbridge Speakers to improve her confidence in presenting, having to do this to her board of directors on a regular basis.  So enthused; she attended the area humorous speech and Table topics competition, where our very own members Dave Smith and Steve Graham were robbed!  What she didn’t realise was that she’d have to share the car journey with Doug Pigg and Anna Shapter!  Eeek! Or is that shriek since it’s Halloween? With her speech entitled Simply me! Please give the warmest Casterbridge Speakers welcome to Vikki Boyers

Anna Shapter

Our second speaker is Anna Shapter with a speech entitled Your Skin, Your Body’s largest organ.  I remember the first time I met Anna.  It was at the Riviera, the 1930s hotel on the seafront at Bowlease.  It was a Going for Gold event run by Roy Griffiths following the announcement that we’d just won the London 2012 Olympic bid.  That’s six spooky years ago this month.  At the time she was involved with a food company and positively passionate about what we put down our necks.  Our internal wellbeing has now extended to what we put on our necks.  So with her speech entitled Your Skin, Your body’s largest organ, please would you welcome Anna Shapter.

David Tucker

Let me see, our third and final speaker in the prepared speeches is David Tucker, I pause … well what can I say about this winger?

The first speech after his Ice breaker a year past June was entitled, Victoria Sponge as a time machine.  This illustrated his love for the Jurassic Coast AND … cake-making.  Speech number three was entitled Marvel comics and me – when we found out how much he aspired to be …  Astroturf man.  His last speech entitled Oh no, not another flippin Van Gogh, we discovered his frustration for people’s interest in art rather than artefacts.  Always off the wall and weirdly wacky, only the devil knows what we are going to find out in a speech entitled The Wichita Lineman, please would you welcome David Tucker

Help the Toastmaster to pitch the tone of your speech.  Talk to them about what you intend to deliver and how you see yourself portrayed.  Give them the information they need to introduce you in a way that will ensure your opening has the powerful impact that you had envisaged.  It will help them to help you prepare your audience.

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