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 Why Should Your Audience Listen?

Writing an Inviting Introduction

The introduction for an Interpretation piece is much like a movie trailer; it gives the audience just enough information to capture their interest, but not too much to spoil the story.

Meg Howell-Haymaker

The primary purpose of an introduction is to prepare the audience to listen to your story.  Unfortunately, defining this goal is much easier than achieving it. The following are some guidelines that will hopefully aid you in preparing a more persuasive introduction.

    • Keep the intro in its place! Introductions, while important, are not the most crucial factor in performance success. Chances are your talent, technique, and the material will play a larger role in your success or failure. It’s better to have a mediocre intro and an excellent cutting than vice versa. However, that doesn’t mean that a poor introduction won’t drag you down. It will.
    • It’s their first impression; don’t blow it! Since the intro is the ONLY place the audience can see the performer, don’t rob them of it by either not being conversational or not being polished.
    • Don’t lose the audience! When writing the intro, the interper must think of the audience. Think not as the person who is performing, but as the audience listening for the first time.
    • Tell them why they should listen. Don’t forget to relate your material to the audience. Why is the audience supposed to listen to the performer? They need to know!
    • The student’s delivery of the introduction should convey that they understand their story, and they want to share the message. If they don’t care enough to become involved, why should their audience?
    • Keep it SHORT! Don’t take too long (30-45 seconds!) The audience wants to hear Interp, not oration! Besides, they get BORED!