Math/CS 299/399 Colloquium in Mathematics & Computer Science I & II Fall 2020 

Colloquium Speaker Introductions


Convention dictates that speakers are introduced by a member of the audience. In our colloquium series, students give brief introductions of our colloquium speakers. The purpose of this is to provide some background information about the speaker and to formally welcome the speaker. Remember, you are an ambassador of Albion College, so you want to make the speaker feel welcome and help the audience better appreciate the talk. The best introduction helps make a connections between the speaker, the subject, and the audience. A good introduction also focuses the attention of the audience and encourages the audience to listen to the speaker.

I will ask for volunteers to introduce speakers. This will replace the normal speaker review for that week. For credit, you must submit a written introduction of the speaker.

Preparing and delivering the Introduction

Here are some tips that will help you prepare for a good introduction:

  • Know the speaker's name and how to pronounce it.
  • Ask about the speaker's preferred gender pronoun family (he, she, they, etc). Of course using the speaker's name rather than a pronoun is usuall appropriate. You can simply ask
    What pronoun family (he/him/his, she/her/his, they/them/theirs, etc) should I use in my introduction of you?
  • Contact the speaker prior to the talk about your introduction for appropriate background information (current job title, educational background, research interests, honors, awards, etc). Almost everyone will have a resume or CV (an academic resume), and some speakers may have a prepared autobiography.
  • Prepare a written introduction. Send it to the speaker to allow them time to review it.
  • Learn about the subject by reading over the abstract, background material from the speaker, and other information as appropriate. Your goal is to help make a connection between the material and the audience. Why do you care about the topic? Why should we care about the topic?
  • Briefly meet with the speaker immediately prior to the talk to verify you have everything correct. The speaker wants you to do a good job!

Here are some things to do when making the introduction:

  • Be enthusiastic when making your introduction!
  • Talk to the audience rather than reading your prepared introduction.
  • Generally avoid jokes, cliches (speaker needs no introduction).
  • Don't overdo the introduction or upstage the speaker.
  • Be brief (100-300 words) 1-3 minutes.
  • Start with Today our speaker is ...
  • Give the title of the talk at some point during the introduction.
  • Provide a short statement on why the talk will be interesting to help engage the audience.
  • End with Please help me welcome Dr./Mr./Ms. ... to Albion College. [applause follows].


Copyright © 2020, David A. Reimann. All rights reserved.