We all know that first impressions are important and if you’re a DJ – you’re it’s big! It is important to think about how you want to introduce yourself on stage, whether it be a wedding speech introduction or a massive festival intro.
The key to an effective speech introduction is to remember ‘DISC’-(Describe, Introduce, Special, Confidence). An amazing music intro is typically about a minute long, has some form of ‘countdown’ feeling to it or build-up, with an epic drop leading into the first song.
Keep in mind that there aren’t any hard and fast rules for DJ intros- don’t let these ‘rules’ constrain your creativity. We’ll start with speech introductions before thinking about some ingredients for an epic music intro.
Let’s get to the tips for an effective speech introduction!
Every event you ever perform at will likely be different from the last in one way or another, and so it’s best just to have some general guidelines up your sleeve that you can adapt to any event to ensure you cover the key bases. After all, how you introduce yourself to a house party is probably different from a formal wedding!
These tips may also be particularly helpful if you’re just starting to DJ and you’re only just beginning to explore your style of introducing yourself.
Need an intro? Think ‘DISC’
Let’s say you’ve landed a gig at a wedding reception. How may you introduce yourself? Think DISC:
Welcome your crowd with enthusiasm! State your DJ name and make sure they know that there is a lot of awesome music, dancing, and fun coming their way.
Crowds, however big or small, love to get excited and supportive, guests will usually respond well to being welcomed and it helps build a rapport between you and them for the night- you want the guests to stay longer and dance the night away!
Here’s a potential example:
‘‘Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to ___ and ___ ’s wedding reception! I’m ______ and I’ve got some great music in store for you all tonight’’’
You don’t need to say anything too important yet as the party is just starting, people will most likely not be fully listening. Try not to force a fake voice either, being yourself is better anyway!
DJs are often responsible for the housekeeping rules as well as the music! This is of course different for any venue- some common ones are locating toilet facilities and fire exits (the real reason you became a DJ, right?). Don’t go on a huge tangent with this one, keep it to the point so you can move on to the fun stuff!
Special and specific
This is special and specific to this particular event. For example, congratulating the new married couple! You might also be asked to draw the spotlight onto particular guests who are attending, such as family members who the newlyweds want to especially thank. For example:
‘’The newlyweds wanted to give extra special thanks to ___ who traveled 100 miles to make it to the wedding today! (round of applause)’’
Your clients might even ask to pop some personal stories from the bride and groom throughout the night (rather than all in one go, that is) such as :
‘As we are all here tonight to celebrate the love of ____ and ____ I am going to be sharing just a few of their special moments throughout the night’
If it was a birthday party you may be expected to say something along the lines of:
‘‘I’d like to take a moment to get everybody’s hands together to wish ______ a very happy birthday and thank you all for coming along tonight to celebrate (round of applause).’’’
Confidence is key
It is perfectly natural to be nervous before a gig of any kind- it’s slightly impossible for the DJ to hide! Despite nerves, try and create natural confidence by doing the opposite e.g. if you’re anxiety is causing you to slouch and look down at your shoes- force yourself into a ‘stand up straight with your shoulders back’ posture.
Outwardly presenting confidence does wonders for how you feel inwardly (seriously, science can back us up on this one!). Try and be yourself, it helps put the crowd (and you) at ease.
So to summarise, remember ‘DISC’ for a good introduction speech: Describe, Introduce, Special, Confidence.
Write an elevator pitch
A useful technique for anyone, and could be particularly beneficial for DJs across different events or networking situations, is an elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is a professional technique that encourages you to introduce something in the most succinct and effective way possible. If you’re serious about your DJ profession, this is an excellent skill that won’t go unnoticed by others. Being able to quickly summarise who you are and what you do, as well as what makes you unique, conveys confidence and professionalism. The last thing you want to do when trying to introduce yourself at a networking event is ‘Umm I’m a DJ uhh yeah I play music?’(which can easily happen if you’re caught off guard).
An elevator pitch takes a little bit of work to perfect, but it is manageable if you ensure you include a few core things. Ask yourself:
- What is my DJ name?
- What music do I play/ what genre?
- What makes me unique and what makes me interesting?
- How can I summarise what I do in the most concise way possible?
Be careful! Don’t fall into the trap of sounding like a robot regurgitating the same paragraph over and over. An elevator pitch still requires that you relax and show that you’re being yourself. So, while it is helpful to practice it, don’t stress over word for word repetition as it will be inevitable that you sound like a robot. It’s meant to get others excited to hire you!
Another tool through which professional DJs introduce themselves is music intros; they are great for bigger events such as festivals. You know what we’re talking about- think of your absolute favourite artists- chances are they have an epic music introduction leading into the first song. We’ll share some common themes and examples to inspire you to get creative!
How long should an intro be?
An intro should be long enough but not too long. After looking at a range of intros, many seem to be roughly a minute or so long. This is enough time to build that anticipation, to get the crowd riled up and ready to party! Yet it’s not too long that the crowd simply get bored.
Consider a countdown
Many DJs use musical introductions in the first place because it stirs up the buzz of the crowd. It’s a great opportunity to get everyone craving what is ahead. You have probably heard a lot of DJs use countdowns, such as this one:
Add riser effects
Similar to the countdown effect, DJs often incorporate ‘risers’ for introductions as when people hear one they naturally expect something exciting is coming! An example of a riser sound used in introductions is here:
Use other sound effects
Sound effects are a great way to build extra anticipation and excitement in your introduction. Some commonly used ones are horns and war drums. Many DJs also incorporate certain quotes or famous moments from films that really work for a powerful introduction. Here are just a few potential sound effects:
Lead up to a drop
After a dramatic countdown or a rising introduction, it’s natural to lead up to a drop of some kind. There are many types of drops you could use tastefully throughout an introduction or at the end.
Think about the tempo
Typically, the introduction leads smoothly into the first song of your gig. One way of doing this is to ensure that the first song resembles your intro in terms of the tempo. It makes for a smooth transition!
Make it unique
If you’re unique, there’s no reason why your DJ introduction should be the same as every other! When creating your intro, think about how you want to represent yourself and how you could make some kind of statement about your image in your introduction segment. For example, if your image is very futuristic, how can your introduction incorporate this element? Try and make it captivating and not just what everyone has heard before! It might even be what makes people remember you above other DJs.
We hope we have convinced you of the importance of introducing yourself as a DJ like a pro- whether it be in speech or music- it can become a monumental part of your image. Small wedding reception or a famous music festival, use these tips and you’re on your way to a grand intro.