How to Introduce Yourself to a Group(16 ways)

Introduce Yourself to a Group : First impressions have a big impact on how others perceive you.

So how you introduce yourself to others is extremely important.

Many people call an introductory speech an elevator speech.

Because it should be succinct 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.

Crafting a good self-introduction can either build or harm your credibility.

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Introduce Yourself to a Group

1. Make an outline of your speech.

Start by making a skeletal draft of your main points.

Strip the speech down to its bare bones to determine what is most important to say.

And in what order 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 is Deshawn Smith, and I am a computer programming student at the University of Arkansas.”
  • If the introduction is work-related, mention your interests and your career goals together in the same sentence. This will save on time and convey 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 relevant 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.”

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2. Mention hobbies or outside interests.

Depending on the scenario, you may also want to mention any relevant hobbies or additional experience you have. Mentioning interests and hobbies could help cement your authority on a certain subject, or it could feel tangential, depending on the purpose of your introductory speech.

  • If you are explaining your passion or goal and how it helped formed your progression up to this point, that can help you tell a compelling story about yourself. For example, if you’re writing a speech for your college speech class, you might want to explain how you got into computers at an early age and why they’re important to you now as you pursue your career goals.
  • If, however, you are introducing yourself to potential clients at a business lunch, they are probably not interested in your hobbies. 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 run both versions by an objective listener who can give you feedback before your speech.

Introduce Yourself to a Group

3. Sell yourself.

If you are trying to make a good first impression in a professional context, it’s important that your speech conveys your capabilities and skills.

You can accomplish this without sounding self-congratulatory by tying your past accomplishments with your future goals and aspirations, letting others know that your anticipated contributions in the future are grounded in your contributions from the past.

  • Highlight the qualities, skills and experience you have that are most relevant for the audience and occasion. For example, “Because of my background in app writing and my extensive network of professional connections, I have a strong grasp of what today’s young professionals are looking for. My apps offer convenience and immediate gratification.”
  • You are trying to present yourself as a professional while making a strong and lasting impression.
  • If you’re trying to sell yourself to a group of new colleagues, you probably won’t need to tell them about your family life, or anything outside of work that isn’t directly relevant.

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Introduce Yourself to a Group

4. Set yourself apart from your peers.

Present yourself honestly, but do so in a way that makes your story stand out from all the rest.

If you played an important role in a big project, mention that role.

Go further by extrapolating what you have learned from the experience.

And explain what ideas you have about how the project could be performed more effectively if it were to be repeated.

  • You can simultaneously demonstrate your skills and experience, while presenting yourself as a forward-looking 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 outline of your career goals and personal development.

5. Trim your speech down.

Some career service advisors recommend keeping your self-introductory speech as short as two or three sentences. 

Others suggest aiming for five to seven minutes in length.

 If it is not possible to make your speech this short, or if time permits you to give a longer introduction.

You should still trim down your speech to be as concise, yet informative, as possible.

  • 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 brief introductory speech in an interview, be certain that you don’t go over the recommended time.

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Introduce Yourself to a Group

6. Use short, simple sentences.

Remember that your speech is going to be spoken out loud.

And your audience will not be able to go back and re-read your words if something is confusing.

Deliver your speech in such a way that no one will be uncertain of what you are trying to say.

  • Avoid long rambling sentences, and use direct and concise prose as much as possible.
  • Think about your sentence structure carefully. Reading your speech out loud will help you determine when you have overly long sentences that need to be restructured.

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7. Practice your speech.

You should run through your speech out loud well before the actual introduction.

Practice different inflections and experiment with how you pace yourself during the speech.

You can practice alone by reading at first, but to get some feedback it’s a good idea to perform the speech in front of a friend, family member or colleague.

  • Practicing in front of other people will enable you to gauge whether your speech captures the interest of your listeners.
  • Think about which parts of the speech were successful and which parts weren’t.
  • Try to get as much detailed feedback as possible by asking specific as well as general questions after your speech.
  • As well as saying “how did you like the speech?”, ask specifically what parts were the strongest and weakest.
  • Check that you delivered a clear message by asking your practice audience what they took away from the speech.

Introduce Yourself to a Group

8. Memorize your speech.

Know what you’re going to say, and how you’re going to say it, well in advance.

Although in some instances it is common practice to read from a piece of paper.

Try to memorize your speech and read it with minimal prompts.

Presenting without reading a paper can create a stronger impression of control, knowledge and confidence.

It will also help keep your audience’s attention.

  • If you are staring down at a piece of paper all the time, the audience might struggle to truly engage with what you are saying.
  • You can, however, bring an index card with bullet points, just in case you freeze up. You shouldn’t write your whole speech on the card, just the main points you hope to cover.
  • Think of the card as a point of reference, rather than a backup for your speech.

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Introduce Yourself to a Group

9. Determine your audience.

If you are writing an introduction for yourself in a professional setting.
You will probably choose a different message, and use different language.
Than if you were introducing yourself to peers in a casual setting.

Before you get started on planning your speech, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What is the purpose of my introduction?
  • What are the expectations others may have?

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10. Decide what’s relevant.

If you had all the time in the world, you could probably think of a lot of interesting and relevant things to say about yourself.
But the key to a successful self-introduction is being brief and to the point.
That means you will need to decide what are the things that are most important or relevant for your listeners to know about you.

You will need to deliver that information in the shortest possible length of time.

  • Stick to one or two main points you want to convey about yourself. You can always add more if time allows it.
  • Depending on the audience and function of your speech, you shouldn’t allow the focus to become too narrow. For example, if you’re introducing yourself to a crowd of prospective investors, you’d focus on your skills to build their confidence in you. If you’re introducing yourself to a general audience — say, for a speech class in college — you can be a bit more wide-ranging.
  • Remember that you’re introducing yourself in general, and you want to present yourself as an interesting and rounded individual.
  • That doesn’t mean you should spend time talking about your love of baseball when you are introducing yourself in a professional scenario.

11. Consider the purpose and tone.

Whenever you plan a speech, you should always be keenly aware of what your intended goals and outcomes are.

Ask yourself what kind of message you are hoping to convey to your listeners.

Is your self-introduction to network with others professionally, or just casually (with new friends)?

  • Are you hoping to win someone over to your point of view with this 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.

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12. Try to relax.

If you find that you get especially nervous before making a speech.

You might consider using relaxation techniques shortly before you’re due to talk.

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 visualization techniques to help ease your nervousness and give you confidence for your speech.
  • Imagine the way you will feel when you have finished delivering your speech and are met with smiling faces and resounding applause. Then channel that confidence into the actual speech you are about to deliver.

Introduce Yourself to a Group

13. Have 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.

  • Avoid crossing your arms or clutching your hands.
  • Don’t stare down at the ground or cling to the table or lecture in front of you.
  • Make eye contact across the room in a measured and controlled way. Avoid lingering on one person, but also avoid darting your eyes back and forth 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 that feels natural and relaxed.

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14.Don’t rush.

You don’t want to drag out your speech, but you also don’t want to stumble over your words or read so fast that nobody can understand you.

Try to find a balance and speed that you are comfortable with.

You need to speak slowly enough that everyone can follow along and understand what you’re saying, but not so slowly that it makes your speech lag.

  • Aim for a comfortable, conversational pace of dialogue.
  • Practicing your speech in front of other people, or recording it and listening back are great ways to judge the tempo of your speech.

Introduce Yourself to a Group

15. Use humor if you make a mistake.

If you make a mistake while delivering your speech, don’t panic.
Apologizing profusely draws attention to your mistakes and makes them seem more significant.
Instead, if you feel like you need to address the mistake, make a humorous remark and then let it go.

This will show comfort and confidence.

  • Self-deprecating humor can help you come across as humble and likable. For example, if you’ve 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. If you wanted to get to know the “real me,” you’re seeing it now!”
  • 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.”
  • Don’t be too self-deprecating, however. You are still trying to ensure people remember you for your strengths and competencies. Move on quickly.

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16. More tips

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

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

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

  • However, you do not want to brag or boast, as this may turn your audience off to what you have to say.

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