The endorsement of a product or service from someone you know and trust is more powerful than one from a mere acquaintance or stranger. Similarly, an endorsement from someone who has personal experience with a product or service carries more weight than one from someone who heard from someone that your product is great: “My cousin raves about it” just doesn’t have the same impact as as “I’ve tried this heartily recommend it”.
When an emcee introduces an entertainer or speaker, it’s an endorsement which usually takes the form of the two categories described above. Let’s call them the I’m-told-this-guy-is-great introduction and the I-need-you-to-see-this guy intro.
The I’m-told-this-guy-is-great introduction, when reduced to plain English, boils down to “Let’s hope our guest speaker is fantastic. If not, you can’t blame me.”
The I-need-you-to-see-this-guy introduction sounds more like this: “I first saw tonight’s entertainer at an event last year and afterwards we couldn’t stop talking about her. After the show I immediately invited her to perform at tonight’s event and I’m thrilled that she is able to attend.”
A personal endorsement requires courage and confidence: courage to give your imprimatur and confidence that you are right to do so. The difference has nothing to do with stroking the speaker’s ego and everything to do with getting the audience to sit up and pay attention.
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