For concise, precise advice on introductions, look no further than Richard C. Borden's 1935 classic Public Speaking as Listeners Like It. Here, collected and condensed, are the author's inimitable insights:

  1. Avoid all stale and stilted phrases such as: "It is indeed an honor. . .a man who needs no introduction."
  2. Don't embarrass the speaker with extravagant promises of oratorical brilliance.
  3. Don't exaggerate your speaker's qualifications.
  4. Don't give the speaker false starts like "and so I take great pleasure in introducing Ms. Paula Prolix [Ms. Prolix stands up]. . .a woman who is eminently qualified..." [Ms. Prolix sits back down.]
  5. Don't try to steal the show by showing off your own speaking chops.

There's more to a great speech of introduction, however, than simply avoiding missteps. Answer these four simple questions briefly and skillfully, and you will create a pleasant harmony between subject, audience, occasion, and speaker:

  1. Why this subject?
  2. Why this subject before this audience?
  3. Why this subject before this audience at this time?
  4. Why this subject before this audience at this time by this speaker?