Delivering your presentation

Public speaking disasters- my worst ever introduction

As a travelling speaker, you don’t ask for much really, just the right directions, a decent hotel, a fee, and then a chance when you get to the venue. Part of giving you a chance is that the host introduces you properly, politely and professionally to the crowd. I mostly give the introducer and few short written lines in the preparatory exchanges when all the arrangements are made, but it doesn’t always work.


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The worst introduction I ever got was in Dublin, Ireland 2005.  The National Sales manager of a global car firm wanted to introduce me to his 200 sales people, all sat expectantly at the start of their sales conference for the year.  The crowd was hushed, the room was packed and Paddy got to his feet-

‘Right, now for the bull£$%^&. This here feller’s called- er who are ya? Oh yes, that’s right. He’s English, sorry about that. If he’s no F$%^&^&*&^$£$ good I won’t pay him so, err… John er that’s it…’

I was laughing so hard, that all I could do was say to the crowd,  ‘Thanks Paddy, that’s the worst intro I’ve ever had, and I am English so for that I do apologise, but shall we start again?…’

At that point a huge guy, sat at the back, got up and said ‘ Jimmy, don’t worry about Paddy, we all think he’s a X$%^£ anyways, now what was it you wanted to say…’

And after we’d all laughed for about 10 minutes (except for Paddy who was steaming) we had a great time. I love the Irish.

And to prove it’s not just me, and to give Paddy a chance to get it right next time, here’s a great post from Max Atkinson’s website about the self same issue.

 

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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