Giving a great self introduction speech

A self introduction speech is often called for at a first meeting of
a group. It could be a work based seminar, a hobby group, your new class at the start of the term ...The possibilities are endless.

A group of shop dummies - one male with several women

The one thing these settings generally share is the need to make a bunch of strangers feel at ease - to quickly establish a sense of unity or belonging.

One of commonest ways of breaking the ice is to have each member of the group give a brief self introduction speech.

Usually the leader will start and around the group you go, one by one.

What do you say?
What will interest people?
What fits with the occasion?
What will the people listening expect to hear?

And more importantly, if you're anxious, what will stop the fear of making
a fool of yourself?

First impressions count -  so let's look at the elements that go together to make  ...

A good self-introductory speech

Here's 6 tips. The first 3 are essential. The remaining 3 elevate your speech from "basic" to interesting to listen to.

  1. Stating your name clearly

  2. Placing yourself - where you are from, the organization you belong to, the position you currently hold

  3. Background - what can you share that is related to the group's core purpose for meeting? Is it an event, experience, a particular skill or educational qualification?

  4. Interest, passion or goal - what particularly interests you? What drives you? What is the personal goal you want to achieve within this group?

  5. Sharing personal details - hobbies or pet peeves

  6. Unity - what do you share in common with someone else in the group?

Self preservation techniques for nervous speakers

An old-fashioned clock face

If putting together a self introduction speech is sprung on you with very little warning use the few minutes you have before it is your turn to organize your thoughts.

Ignore everyone else and focus on yourself

If you're inclined to be tongue-tied or awkward don't listen to what others are saying before you.  I know that seems rude but the situation calls for self-preservation. If you listen, you'll get mesmerized by their speeches and unable to plan for yourself which will heighten your anxiety.

Make some notes

Grab a piece of paper the moment the round-robin introduction is announced and start jotting down ideas. Start with the basic information - your name, where you are from etc. and then add more from the list above. From those additional points select one to focus on. Make your comments personal as well as relevant to the group.


Watch the timing

Generally the timing allowed for an introductory speech is about
60 seconds. Going over that is poor form. It eats into everybody's speaking time but more than that rambling on about yourself without point as far as the group is concerned is boring and egotistical.

"What's in it for me?" rules supreme!

Here's a simple self introduction speech example

You can use it as a model to prepare your own.

Hello sticker - Masie Smith

Hi everybody!

I'm Masie Smith, Senior Marketing Executive, from Watts and Frederick in Smalltown, Bigstate.

It's great to be finally here. I've been dreaming about the opportunity and possibilities of working collectively and directly with each other for a long time now. Jane and Sam can attest to that. There's been hours put in balancing the schedules to make it happen.

Webinars and email are fine but nothing beats face to face.

Working like this has always been a passion. Even in kindergarten I tried to set up a group-think session around a one swing and ten children problem.

Years later my master degree focused on harnessing group energy creatively. I've been inspired by agencies that got it right.

Sally you've already said it and I echo you. I'm excited!

Prepare and practice in readiness

If you know you have situations coming up that will call for a self introduction speech start generating one ahead of time. Make yourself an adaptable template using the core elements listed above that you can use whatever the situation you are in.

Practicing it out loud will help you refine and hone your message. It's worth doing as this speech can set the way in which others view you. With repetition you'll gain the confidence to speak for yourself concisely and cohesively and the temptation to succumb to a fit of the blithers will have vanished!


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