Writing a Speech Introducing Yourself/Self-introductory Speech [Essay]

First impressions have a huge influence on how others see you. So, how you introduce yourself to others is extremely important. Many people call an introductory speech an elevator speech. It should be brief enough that you could introduce yourself and tell someone about your goals or interests in the time it takes to ride an elevator. It may also be called an "icebreaker" speech, as it breaks the ice and lets others get to know you. Consider your words carefully when you write a speech introducing yourself.


Part 1: Preparing Your Speech/Getting Your Speech Ready


Make an outline or draft of your speech. Start by making a skeletal draft of your main points. Decide what is most important to say and in what order or series you should deliver those facts. This is the basic structure which you will build your speech around.


State your name in the very first sentence of your speech. This can be very straightforward: "Good afternoon!/Good morning! My name/I am/This is Md. Alif Ahmed, and I am a CSE student at the University of Creative Technology."


If the introduction is work-related, mention your interests and your career goals together in the same sentence. This will save time and express that your personal interests can serve your professional goals. For example, "I am working on an app that allows people to order pizza from their Twitter account."


You may want to mention your education or professional training background, if it is related and appropriate. "This is the fifth app I've designed. My second app, which helped people locate dog parks near them, won an award at my university."


You can Mention hobbies or outside interests. Depending on the situation, you may also want to mention any related hobbies or additional experience you have. If you mention your interests and hobbies, it will help you to make your authority on a certain subject strong.


You may explain your passion or goal and how it helped to form your advancement up to this point. You may tell an exciting story about yourself. For example, if you are writing a speech for your college speech class, you might want to explain how you were interested in computers at an early age and why they are important to you now as you follow your career goals.


It is not logical to speak about hobbies if you are introducing yourself to potential clients at a business lunch! They will want to know what you are doing right now and what your skills are.


Try writing one draft with your experience/hobbies and one without, and rehearse by speaking both versions in front of an objective listener who can give you feedback before your speech.


Sell or promote yourself. If you are trying to make a good first impression in a professional environment, it is important that your speech expresses your capabilities and skills. You can speak about your past achievements and future goals and aspirations.

Highlight the qualities, skills and experience you have that are most related to the audience and occasion. For example, "I have a strong grasp of what today's young professionals are looking for because of my background in app writing and my extensive network of professional connections. My apps offer convenience and immediate gratification."


You are trying to present yourself as a professional by making a strong and lasting impression.


If you are trying to sell or promote yourself to a group of new colleagues, you probably will not need to tell them about your family life, or anything outside of work that is not directly related.


Present yourself honestly/Set yourself apart from your peers. Present yourself honestly, but do so in a way that makes your story stand out or notable from all the rest. If you played an important role in a big project, mention that role. Speak about what you have learned from the experience, and explain what ideas you have about how the project could be performed more successfully if it were to be repeated.


You can at the same time show your skills and experience by presenting yourself as a modern person who is always learning and developing. For example, you could say, "I spend a lot of time attending app conventions and conferences; so, I can learn what audiences are looking for. I pride myself on staying on the cutting edge of app design."


Try to tie this into your broader shape of your career goals and personal development.


Part 2: Revising and Practising Your Speech Properly

Make your speech short/Trim your speech down. Some career service advisors advise to keep your self-introductory speech short- two or three sentences. Others suggest that you should introduce yourself for 5 to 7 minutes. If it is not possible to make your speech this short, or if time permits you to give a longer introduction, you should still shorten your speech and make it informative.


Make sure that if this is an assignment, you stay within the assigned guidelines.


If your speech is supposed to be 3-5 minutes, a 7-minute speech and a 2-minute speech are equally inappropriate.


If you are giving a short introductory speech in an interview, you should never cross the recommended time.


Use short and simple sentences. Remember that you are going to speak loudly; your audience will not be able to go back and re-read your words if something is confusing. Deliver your speech in a clear way that no one will be uncertain of what you are trying to say.


Avoid long confused sentences; use direct and short prose as much as possible.


Think about your sentence structure carefully. Reading your speech out loud will help you to decide when you have very long sentences that need to be shaped again.


Practise your speech loudly. You should practise your speech loudly before the actual introduction. Practise different inflections and experiment with how you pace yourself during the speech. You can practise alone by reading at first. But, it is a good idea to perform the speech in front of a friend, family member or colleague to get some feedback.


Practising before other people will help you to measure whether your speech captures or attracts the interest of your listeners.


Think about which parts of the speech were successful and which parts were not.


Try to get much detailed feedback from the audiences by asking specific and general questions after your speech.


You can ask the listeners, "How did you like the speech?" You can also ask specifically what parts were the strongest and weakest.


You can ask the audiences about what they have taken away from the speech.


Memorise your speech. You should know what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it. Sometimes, it is common practice to read from a piece of paper. But, try to memorise your speech and read it with least prompts. If you can present yourself without reading a paper, you can create a stronger impression of control, knowledge and confidence. It will also help to keep the attention of the audience.


If you look down at a piece of paper all the time, the audience will not be able to truly engage with what you are saying.


You can bring an index card with bullet points if you suddenly forget or freeze up. You should not write your whole speech on the card; just the main points you hope to cover.


Think of the card as a point of reference. It is not a backup for your speech.


Part 3: Planning or Designing Your Speech

Understand your audience/Determine your audience. If you are writing an introduction for yourself in a professional environment, you should choose a different message, and use different language. If you are introducing yourself to peers or classmates in a casual or informal environment, your language should match the situation. Ask yourself the following questions before you start on planning your speech:


Who is the intended audience?

What is the purpose of my introduction?

What are the expectations others may have?


Decide what is related.  The successful self-introduction is short and to the point. That means you must decide what are the things that are most important or related for your listeners to know about you. You should deliver that information in the shortest possible time.

Speak about one or two main points you want to express about yourself. You can always add more if time allows it.

Your focus should not be too narrow, depending on the audience and function of your speech. For example, if you are introducing yourself to the potential investors, you would focus on your skills to build their confidence in you. You can be a bit more wide-ranging if you are introducing yourself to a general audience – for example, for a speech class in college.


Remember that you are introducing yourself in general, and you want to present yourself as an interesting and rounded individual.


That does not mean that you should spend time by talking about your love of football when you are introducing yourself in a professional environment.


Consider the purpose and tone. When you plan a speech, you should always be aware of what your planned goals and results are. Ask yourself what kind of message you hope to express to your listeners. Is your self-introduction to network or connect with others professionally, or just casually (with new friends)?


Do you hope to impress someone with this self-introduction, or to inspire/motivate someone to work hard under your leadership?


All of these will affect the things you say in your introduction and the way you say them.


Part 4: Delivering or Presenting Your Speech


Try to relax. If you naturally become nervous before your speech, you should use relaxation techniques just before the speech. Find a quiet place and take a few minutes to prepare yourself. Take some deep breaths, focus on your breathing, and count the seconds that pass as you breathe in slowly, then exhale slowly.


You can also try some visualisation techniques to reduce your nervousness and give you confidence for your speech.


Imagine the way you will feel after delivering your speech- smiling faces and resounding handclapping from the audiences. Then, pass that confidence into the actual speech that you are going to deliver.


Maintain a good body language. It may seem like a minor point, but a slouching posture could make you appear less confident or less professional, and it may be distracting to your audience. Stand up straight and try to project a strong image. You may find it helpful to push your chest out and suck your stomach in a little to help you keep a straight back, but try to keep it natural-looking.


You should deliver your speech by keeping the particular culture in mind. Avoid crossing your arms or clutching your hands if you are abroad. For example, in the USA or UK. It is alright if you cross your arms or clutch your hands during your speech in Bangladesh.


Do not stare down at the ground or hold on to the table or lecture in front of you.


Make eye contact across the room in a measured and controlled way. Do not look at only one person for a long time. Avoid moving your eyes backward and forward restlessly.


Try making eye contact with one person on the left side of the room, then one person on the right side of the room. Shift across the room, but in a controlled way. Your eye contact should look natural and relaxed.


Do not hurry or rush. You do not want to make your speech long. You also do not want to stumble over your words or read so fast that nobody can understand you. Try to find a comfortable balance and speeds. You should speak slowly enough that everyone can understand what you are saying. But, your speech should not be so slow either.


You should maintain a comfortable, conversational speed of dialogue.


You can practise your speech before other people, or record it and listen back. These will help you to judge the rhythm of your speech.


Use humour if you make a mistake. Do not be afraid or embarrassed if you make a mistake. If you need to address the mistake, you can make a humorous comment and then let it go. This will show comfort and confidence.


Self-critical humour can help you to look humble and likable. For example, if you have accidentally skipped forward in your speech and have to circle back, you could say something like, "And now I'm going to cycle back and tell you something I forgot before!"


You can also make a quick, humorous nod to your mistake and move on. For example, if you come out and you mess up the very first line, you could say something like, "Wow, excuse me. Here I am so excited to tell you about myself that I've mixed up all my words. Let me try that again."


Do not be too self-critical. You are still trying to ensure that the people should remember you for your strengths and competencies. Move on quickly.


Overall Tips:

If the introduction is too long, you will lose the attention of the audience. A good introduction should be short and to the point.


Do not be afraid to make yourself sound good. After all, this is an introduction, and the first impression you will make.


However, you do not want to show off or boast, as this may make your audience feel disturbed.


Improve eye contact with the audience. Be direct and move confidently during the speech.

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