Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Should the moderator introduce herself?

My coaching client was moderating a major press conference for her company, and her script had the required regulatory language, introductions for each of the executive speakers, and a preview of the day's events. The only thing missing? The script didn't include an introduction for herself.

When I pointed out the omission, she questioned whether she really needed to introduce herself--it felt awkward. It might have been another case of a woman speaker who feels she should be a backup singer, not a lead performer. But I think the moderator, of all the speakers, needs an intro. Here's why:
  • It's part of the official record: Especially for investor meetings or press conferences, the moderator's remarks are part of the official record. And those remarks need an identifier.
  • It's a courtesy to the audience: Your audience may have a program in hand, but it's important to verbally introduce yourself along with the other speakers. It helps audience members keep track of who's doing what, connecting faces with names. And because the moderator is the audience's guide, how will they ask a question or get your attention if they can't call you by name?
  • It appropriately reflects your role as a frequent speaker that day: As the person who may appear most frequently as a speaker, the moderator, of all people, needs an introduction.
But what you were really wondering is whether it's possible to give yourself an introduction that isn't too braggy or over the top? You bet it is. In this instance, in fact, simply stating her name and title would suffice. Read my posts on The Eloquent Woman blog about when you have to introduce yourself, and how to take charge of your introduction for more specifics and ideas on introducing yourself without sounding too pompous.

(Creative Commons licensed photo by the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Need more coaching on how to be a better panel moderator? Order the new ebook The Eloquent Woman's Guide to Moderating Panels. At just $3.99 and available in many formats, it's a great back-pocket coach to take on stage with you in your smartphone or tablet. Find more tips on public speaking on The Eloquent Woman blog.