Writing an Introductory Speech
Through the years that she served as one of the leaders of the Geneva Political Equality Club, Anne Fitzhugh Miller introduced many speakers. Providing a good introduction for a speaker is a special skill. An introduction is a short speech, but it can be important to the speaker’s success. A boring introduction or one that does not match the tone of the speech to follow can detract from the audience’s enjoyment. An introduction should have an opening that grabs the audience’s attention, a body that tells the audience something about the speaker and the topic, and a closing that welcomes the speaker to the stage.
Read several of the following introductions prepared by Anne Fitzhugh Miller; you may want to try reading them aloud, as if you were delivering them as speeches:
- “Anne Fitzhugh Miller draft introduction of Alice Stone Blackwell, Geneva Political Equality Club speaker”
- “Anne Fitzhugh Miller draft introduction of Thomas Osborne, Geneva Political Equality Club speaker”
- “Anne Fitzhugh Miller’s Introduction to Nathaniel Schmidt’s address on Woman’s Sphere"
- “Anne Fitzhugh Miller Introducing Maud Nathan, president of the National Consumers’ League"
Do Miss Miller’s introductions have openings that grab the audience’s attention? Do they have bodies that tell something about the speaker and his or her topic? Do they have endings that welcome the speaker?
Use what you have learned about Anne Fitzhugh Miller to write an introduction for a speech she will give at a national suffrage meeting. Her topic will be “Why I Am a Suffragist!” (This was the title of an article she wrote, which you may want to read in preparing your introduction.)