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Have You Ever Had a Weird Introduction?
Jan McInnis - Humor in Business Expert Jan McInnis - Humor in Business Expert
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, March 18, 2021

What's the weirdest way you've been introduced?
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"And now coming to the stage, our entertainment for tonight – Jan McInnis, The Working Girl!" What do you think of when you hear THAT introduction? A comedian? A keynote speaker? Or perhaps some other "shadier" profession?

Well I've had that introduction before, and I've seen the look on the audience members' faces that says "what kind of entertainment did we hire?" The emcee in this case confused my keynote and humor website TheWorkLady.com with the street-walker profession, which left the audience baffled. Luckily I'm a comedian, so I was able to have some fun with this introduction. And BTW, I have that website because the spelling of my last name is hard to remember and I do a lot of work humor . . . my site has been around forever, and so it's kinda hard to change now.

But sadly, that's not the worst introduction I've ever gotten.  A few other memorable/funny introductions:

The Joke Reader: Yep, I've stood backstage on more than one occasion while someone actually read some of my jokes. . . you know, the ones I was about to tell onstage. One woman was getting a lot of laughs with them, and really enjoyed the spotlight. I think she did about a half-dozen or so before bringing me out. And another guy said to the group, "I'm sorry, but this is so funny, I have to just say it."  He got laughs too, but I'm backstage thinking, no you don't have to say it – because I will!

The long bio. At least reading my jokes gets the crowd laughing so it isn't deadly, but reading my 2-page bio IS. And yes, it's happened. My bio lists lots of accomplishments that my mom likes to hear about . . . the audiences, not so much.

The Confusing Intro:  One person read the email that I sent to get hired for the event. How that ever got into their hands is beyond me. She read all the great things about me and why we should hire me, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure the audience was thinking "are we voting to hire her – she's standing right there!" I'm thinking, ya know, I flew in for this gig. I'm going on stage. It was odd.


The Angry Intro: Humor and yelling don't mix, but I've had it happen. One guy who was having trouble getting the group quiet and focused, grabbed the mic and screamed, "OK Everyone. Shut the hell up and listen. We have a comedian coming up, and she's really funny!!!!" Dead silence. Great, now there's on me to be funny AND more entertaining than whatever these people were talking about with their friends. It's really hard to follow "shut the hell up and listen." That line should be banned from introductions.

The Quiet Intro: On the other end of the spectrum is the person who is so quiet, you can't hear them. They're usually holding the mic down around their waist, and don't bother to get the crowd focused and settled. They hate doing the intro so they read it quickly and bring me out to a chatty crowd who has no idea who I am.

The wannabe comedian: I love it when people want to have fun with the introduction, as long as it's appropriate. Trying to be funny by saying "We have a comedian. She better be funny or we're not paying her," is not funny. Luckily I had a great show, and at the end I looked at her and said "am I getting paid?"

The Wing-It Intro: Unless you are best friends with the person, you should always read their introduction, otherwise you'll screw it up. Like the guy who remembered that I had written comedy for some big things, but he forgot that it was the Tonight Show monologue. So instead, he got nervous and blurted out "now coming to the stage is a writer for Reader's Digest." I'm sure the audience was thinking "Can't anyone do that? You just have to send 'em an article." It was an awkward start for sure! And for the record, I've written for TV, Radio, syndicated cartoon stirps, and even guests on the Jerry Springer Show (my parents are proud), but I have never written for Reader's Digest.

Aside from "shut the hell up," none of these introductions were so bad I couldn't recover from them, but they did get things off on a weird start for sure. Here's hoping 2021 brings us together to make many more introductions and may all of them be so good that you never have to explain to your friends and family that you are not a "working girl."


Jan McInnis

Keynote Speaker, Comedian, and Master of Ceremonies


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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Jan McInnis
Title: Funny Keynote Speaker
Group: The Work Lady
Dateline: Los Angeles, CA United States
Direct Phone: 800-492-9394
Cell Phone: 800-492-9394
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