How Do You Introduce Yourself In A Speech?

A good introduction can lead to a good speech
A good introduction can lead to a good speech
Image Credit: Pearl Pirie

How often when you get up in front of an audience do you find yourself addressing a room full of people that you don’t know. For that matter, the people that you are talking to probably don’t know you. It sure seems like one of the first things that you need to be doing as a speaker because you understand the importance of public speaking is taking just a moment to get things started off on the right foot. How about an introduction? Now comes the tricky part – what’s the right way to go about introducing yourself to your audience?

The Importance Of Getting Your Introduction Right

Let’s face it – a good introduction is a critical part of any speech that you give. Your introduction can have an impact on how your audience receives the message that you have for them. When you are starting your speech everyone in your audience is thinking about one question: tell me about yourself. The tricky part in answering this question is that we are all experts when it comes to the topic of who we are; however, it turns out that most of us are not very good at introducing ourselves.

One of the things that you don’t want to do when you are introducing yourself as a part of a speech is to classify yourself as being a part of a professional category. This means don’t tell your audience that you are a lawyer, a fireman, a salesperson, or a homemaker. The reason that you don’t want to do this is because when you describe yourself this way, you are talking at your audience, not to them. Instead, what you are going to want to do is to take the time to introduce yourself using more of a dialog technique.

It All Starts With A Plan

The technique that you want to use when you are introducing yourself as a part of a speech is to start things off by creating a plan. Every audience that you’ll be addressing will be different. What this means for you is that you need to have a goal for your introduction that will match the people that you’ll be talking to. Before you start your speech, you are going to have to be sure that you know what you want to say about yourself.

Once you know what you want to say, you then will have to write it down. What you write down is going to be critical in making sure that you can communicate who you are to your audience. This means that you need to include basic facts about yourself. If possible, you’d like to include an item that your audience will find catchy and memorable. It doesn’t hurt to include some humor in your introduction also. Your goal here needs to be for you to be able to provide your audience with a quick synopsis of the experiences that you’ve had along with identifying one point that will be unique to you.

Talk About Your Contributions

The good news is that an audience has shown up to hear you speak. Now what you need to do is to use the opportunity of your introduction to capture their attention and make sure that they remain interested in what you are going to be telling them. The purpose of your introduction needs to be to communicate your contributions to your audience. You want to let them know how you plan on serving them.

A great way to go about accomplishing this is to create what is called a “curiosity statement” and then work it into your speech. The goal of your curiosity statement is to communicate your value and to make your audience want to hear the rest of your speech. When you are creating your curiosity statement you’ll want to think about who you help and how do they benefit from your actions? By sharing this with your audience they’ll come to know you better and will be primed to hear the content of your speech.

What All Of This Means For You

The goal of any speech that we give to find a way to get our audience to listen to what we have to say, understand the benefits of public speaking, and then take action based on what we have shared with them. What this means is that if our audience does not know us when we begin our speech, we need to be sure to take some time and introduce ourselves to them. However, it turns out that although we know ourselves very well, we generally do a poor job of introducing ourselves.

In order to do a good job of introducing ourselves, we need to understand that how we introduce ourselves can be done several ways and what we want to do is be seen as talking to our audience, not at them. In order create a good introduction for yourself, you’ll need to start with a plan. A plan requires you to have a goal, write it down, and include key points that will make you unique. In order to capture the attention of your audience you’ll need to talk about your contributions. This can be done by including a curiosity statement as a part of your speech. This will hook your audience’s interest and will get them to pay attention to the rest of your speech.

Every speech that we give is an opportunity for us to create a relationship between ourselves and our audience. In order to get that relationship off to a good start, we need to start our speeches out by introducing ourselves to our audience. This may be something that we’re not very skilled at. If we take the time to plan out how we want our introduction to go, then we’ll be well positioned to capture our audience’s attention and hold on to it for our entire speech.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How long do you think that a speaker’s introduction should be?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When we think about what makes a speech a good speech, I think that we can all agree that our ability to interject some life into a speech can go a long way to capturing our audience’s attention and allowing us to show the importance of public speaking. This is why when we are practicing giving our speech we like to try to interject some humor, comment on our audience, or do something else that will keep our audience engaged in what we are saying. However, sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to do this. Sometimes our speech has been written out for us and we’ve been asked to deliver it as it is written. What is a speaker to do then?