CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – SEPTEMBER 25, 2021 – PT.1
HOW TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF BEFORE ANY PRESENTATION
One of the more challenging parts of any presentation is the very first part. If you are wondering how to introduce yourself before starting your presentation, you are in good company. For most of us, once we get the first few sentences out, our nervousness will diminish pretty significantly. So, this initial self-introduction is really important. If we struggle here, our nervousness will increase. In addition, the old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is very true.
In this post, we are going to cover a very simple three-step process that will help you introduce yourself before starting any presentation. A summary of the steps is below.
- Start with your name and company (or organization).
- Tell your audience what problem that you can solve for them.
- Share some type of proof (social proof works best) that you can solve this problem.
I will break down each step into a simple to follow process. But first… a little background.
First, Identify What Your Audience Wants from Your Presentation
Before we get into the “How to” of the introduction before the speech, though, let’s talk about the purpose. The main purpose of the introduction is to build rapport with your audience and to let them know some of your credentials. In addition, you also want to get the audience to pay attention to you. This can sometimes be very difficult because let’s face it. Most people who are sitting in a given meeting, don’t really want to be there. So, if the speaker just stands up and brags about how great he is, he will likely turn the audience off.
So, before you design your introduction, think about what your audience wants from your presentation. Why do they want to spend their valuable time listening to you? Are going to waste their time? Or, are you going to provide them with something valuable?
For instance, I have expertise in a number of different areas. I’m a public speaking coach, a keynote speaker, a best-selling author, a search engine optimization specialist, and a popular podcaster. However, if I delivered that sentence to any audience, the most likely reaction would be, “So what?” That sentence doesn’t answer any of the above questions. The statement is also really “me-focused” not “audience-focused.”
So, when I start to design my self-introduction, I want to focus just on the area of expertise related to my topic. I’m then going to answer the questions above about that particular topic. Once you have these answers, set them aside for a second. They will be important later.
How to Introduce Yourself — A Step-by-Step Guide.
Step #1: Start with your name and company (or organization).
This one is easy. Just tell your audience your name and the organization that you are representing. If your organization is not a well-known brand name, you might add a short clarifying description. For instance, most people outside of the training industry have never heard of The Leader’s Institute ®. So, my step #1 might sound something like…
Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company…
Still short and sweet, but a little more clear to someone who has never heard of my company.
Step #2: Tell your audience what problem that you can solve for them.
This is where all of the pre-work comes into play. In this step, you will use the answers to one of those questions that you answered earlier.
For instance, if my topic is how to deliver presentations, I have to determine why the audience would care. What problem will they have that I can help them with? For my audiences, the problem that I most often help people with is how to eliminate public speaking fear. Once I have the problem, I add that to my introduction by using the words, “I help people…”
Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company, and I help people eliminate public speaking fear.
Hi, I’m Doug Staneart with The Leader’s Institute ®, an international leadership development company, and I help people design more persuasive sales presentations.
I have expertise in both areas. However, I focus my introduction on just the expertise that is applicable to this audience. If I gave the first introduction to the second audience, they will likely respond by thinking, well, I don’t really get nervous speaking, so I guess I can tune out of this speech.
So, create a problem statement starting with, “I help people…” Make the statement apply to what your audience really wants.