Introductions are the very basics when it comes to giving a seminar. In fact, it is something that your audience would expect you to provide at the very start of your seminar. This part of your seminar sets the tone for the remainder of it. Your audience would be quick to judge both the content of your seminar as well as your presentation skills. In order to provide them with a good first impression of yourself and your seminar, you would need to deliver and ace this portion.
So what exactly is the purpose of an introduction? Although the word is commonly used, there are many speakers who are unable to grasp the very essence of it. To put it in basic terms, an introduction is to give your audience a brief idea on the topics you intend to cover in your seminar. The ultimate aim is to allow them to have a general understanding of what the seminar’s purpose is. Yes, there is pretty much no doubt that your audience would come to your seminar with a general idea of what to expect and experience. Therefore, your introduction is to give them a clearer vision of the purpose of the seminar.
If that is the case, then what exactly should you include in your introduction? The easiest way for you to picture it is that an introduction is similar to a summary of your seminar. You basically provide the necessary background information to the help the audience understand how each of the individual ideas covered in the seminar fits into a big picture. Ideally, try making it simple by just having and stating the key points. An introduction is supposed to be short and sweet. Aside from these key points, do not forget to give your audience an introduction of yourself. Although it may not be the first time for some of your audience members to attend your seminar, there are still bound to be new faces that are there for the first time. Hence, give them the benefit of the doubt.
After all that has been said and done, what is the time frame for an introduction? There is no rule of how long it should be, but as mentioned about it should be short. If possible keep it within a time frame of 15 minutes. It is important that you do not compromise the time for your actual content just to finish up your introduction. If you realise that you are out of your time frame, then cut it short and get back into the actual seminar.