Monday, November 26, 2012

Art of Introduction

Many people who have focused on improving their speaking skills (what we euphemistically call becoming a sabha.ologist) have found that they become the go to person to introduce a dignitary or guest at the Mandir. This usually happens with a few minutes advance warning. Some people will feel that this is fine - what is the big deal in introducing someone. Just go up there and say the person's name. However to properly introduce someone means to make it sticky. It requires some thought and time.

Weather three minutes is enough time is a subject of another discussion. But given the three minutes (or  less) that you have, how can you make a sticky introduction.

Find out everything you can about the person you are introducing. If you have a smart phone go to their website, google them, find out their interests. You can also talk to the person before hand and ask them about their interests. You can also ask more details about what you found on the internet regarding them, thus confirming it is true (credible). Sometimes dignitaries will come with handlers or helpers, these people are a plethora of information. They go to events like this all the time and know a great deal about the person you are about to introduce and handler usually come much earlier and have more available time to speak with you. It is a great idea to talk with them.

For example one sabha.ologist was introducing a Mayor of the town that the Mandir is located. On her website he found out that the mayor had a buckwheat farm. He talked to her about the farm beforehand and found out it was a working farm that donated the proceed to charity. In his introduction he talked about how the town and the Mandir have roots in agriculture (pun intended) and that our sanshta also has agrarian roots. In fact the seniors at the Mandir were growing their own organic Mandir garden. Finally even the Mayor has her own farm.

Use SUS (Unexpected, Simple, Story)
This is really important because you only have a few minutes to get things done. So you have to focus on your simple message. For example, the mayor is a friend of the Mandir. Then tell one unexpected story that shows this. Say you simple, twice if you can work it in. 

Avoid Bad Catch Phrases
Avoid saying things that are forced. For example in the heat of the moment many people will say:
Let's give a round of applause to the mayor
Everyone will give they mayor a round of applause
There is phrase in Gujarati that translates to this, Talio thi vadavshu. However this does not translate well. 

Instead try saying something like:
Let's welcome Mayor xxx to our special assembly. 
And then start clapping yourself. Everyone will get it, and it sound much better.
One another oft used but awkward phrase is:
I humbly request Mayor xxxx to address the assembly.
If you have grown up in the Mandir you may have heard this so often that you don't think twice about it. However we have rarely heard this outside of the Mandir. It maybe that it is a loose translation of a Gujarati phrase that sounds natural in Gujarati but does not translate well.

Any other thoughts? Let us know. 

No comments:

Post a Comment