Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed something interesting. A lot of people get confused about the difference between an introduction and an opening. They couldn’t be more different, but people mix up the words. So let me set you straight.
An introduction is what the host does before the speaker gets up on stage. It is how the speaker is introduced to the audience. The speaker never gives their own introduction, however he or she may have written it and provided it to the host.
An opening is the beginning of a speech or presentation. This is how the speaker introduces the audience to the topic. It is the lede, the hook, the attention-getter.
As you can see, different people present these two parts of an overall presentation. The easiest way to tell these apart is to understand that an introduction is NOT part of the speech. It exists outside of the presentation itself. An opening IS part of the speech. You can’t have an effective presentation without one.
Now, you may be asking, this seems pretty clear, how do you know that people are confused? Two instances in particular come to mind: