How to Write a Self-Introductory Speech
An introductory speech may be used at a business or networking function, as a prelude to delivering a presentation or in the context of making a sales pitch or throwing your hat in the ring for an elected position. Speeches should be engaging, informative and creative enough to grab and hold your audience’s attention.
A business introduction is used when you’re meeting a group, new colleagues or new clients or when you’re introduced in a professional setting and asked to say a few words about yourself. Your speech should begin with an acknowledgment of the crowd. State your name, title and company and delve into the pertinent details of your background, education, professional achievements and awards. Incorporate interesting industry anecdotes or stories of interesting encounters with other well-known people in your field. Describe how they impacted your life or made a lasting impression. End with a call to action, if appropriate, and thank the audience for their time.
Social introductory speeches may be given when joining a club or organization, becoming part of a volunteer group or running for a minor office or post, like a neighborhood watch or PTA association. Your introduction should begin with your name and your connection to the audience. Outline your interest in the group and provide anecdotal examples that endear you to the crowd. For example, talk about your family, your kids, your civic involvement and your work in the community. Use examples that relate to the speech you’re giving. For example, if you’re asking to be voted head of a neighborhood watch committee, describe how you coped with a break-in or describe the factors that make you passionate about your pursuit.
An elevator pitch is a brief mini-speech that quickly explains who you are and what you do. The speech gets its name from the typical length of an elevator ride. Its intended use is for making quick yet meaningful connections with others when you only have a few moments to spare. For example, “My name is Sally Smith, I’m vice president of the ABC Company. I recently helped launch a new software program designed to help tech industry professionals with time management skills.” An elevator pitch is utilized when you have a brief chance to make an impression or deliver a sales pitch and is an effective tool at trade shows and conferences. The introduction should always be completed with a handshake and an exchange of business cards.
Themed Object Introduction
A themed object introduction incorporates a visual aid with a creative introduction, using an object to symbolize key aspects of your personality you want to emphasize. For example, if you’re an aspiring physical therapist you might use a crutch to symbolize a helping hand. Discuss how professors or family helped you through your college years and how today the crutch serves as a symbol of your life’s commitment to helping others learn how to stand on their own two feet.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.