How to Introduce Yourself in English - Tips and Tricks

conversation short video lessons spoken english practice Sep 19, 2020
how to introduce yourself in english

Learning how to introduce yourself in English will guarantee that you start off on the right foot in every situation.  While there are different ways to introduce yourself in different situations, there are tips and tricks that you can learn to introduce yourself in both professional and social situations.  In this blog, we’ll take you through the best ways to introduce yourself in English.  

 

Unfortunately, textbooks and language classes often fail us.  They teach us how to introduce ourselves in forced and unnatural ways.  There are only a few scenarios where you’ll need to ramble off as much information about yourself as possible in a few short minutes.  Keep reading to learn some new and interesting ideas and sound like a native English speaker when you introduce yourself in different scenarios.    

What is Self Introduction

Self-introduction is when you introduce yourself to another person or a group of people in a formal interview or a casual meetup at a party.  If someone asks you for a self-introduction, they are asking you to summarise the most relevant information about yourself and your life.  A self-introduction should include important information that is relevant to the context you’re introducing yourself in.  In a job interview, your focus will be on your work achievements, however, at a party, you’re more likely to talk about your hobbies, what you do, and where you live.     

Tips For Self Introduction in English

The way you introduce yourself will vary from situation to situation - but the secret is always confidence.  Confidence is key.  The more confident you feel when you give a self-introduction, the better you will introduce yourself.  Follow these tips to nail your next self-introduction and to exude confidence - even when you might not feel very confident.

Understand The Context

The situation will determine the type of introduction you will use.  Don’t make the mistake of preparing a one-size-fits-all self-introduction.  Instead, think about the different situations where you commonly introduce yourself and try to come up with a unique introduction for each situation.  

Keep It Short And Sweet

Whether you’re introducing yourself to a new friend or at a job interview, it’s important to get to the point quickly.  Avoid beating around the bush or talking in circles.  The people you are speaking to want a summary of your life and not your whole life story.

Speak Slowly

Don’t rush through your self-introduction.  You can speak slower and expand on different points if you keep your introduction short and sweet.  No one wants to hear you rush through every single detail of your life.  Rather, they will be interested in listening to you speak well about the most interesting facts about your life.

Only Include Relevant Information

It’s easy to go off-topic and overshare about areas of your life that are perhaps not appropriate for the specific situation you’re in, so make sure that you stay on topic when introducing yourself.  

 

If you’re in a job interview, it’s important to only share relevant information that the interviewer would want to hear.  You can talk about yourself and your interests, but be sure to also include your achievements, qualifications, and other relevant information about yourself that makes you suitable for the job position.

 

The same rule applies to casual introductions.  Don’t go on and on about yourself.  Introduce yourself and what you think is most interesting about you and then allow the other person to ask more questions.  

Practice Self Introductions

Job interview self-introduction can become second nature if you practice it over and over again.  Practice the introduction in front of a mirror or record yourself until you are completely comfortable with the self-introduction.  

 

You can also practice self-introductions for social situations if you know that you’ll be meeting new people at an event.  It’s common for people to want to know a little bit about your life when they meet you and pre-planning what you say will guarantee that you express yourself well in a short space of time. 

Use Correct Grammar

If you’re talking about yourself and the things you do regularly then you must use the present simple tense.  If you’re talking about your experiences then use the present perfect tense.  If you’re talking about the duration you’ve been doing something then use the present perfect or present perfect continuous with FOR/SINCE. 

How Can I Start My Self Introduction in English?

A great way to start a self-introduction in English is by starting with your name and occupation or field of study.  “Hello, my name is Harry, and I’m an English teacher.”  This short and sweet introduction allows you to follow with more information about yourself and your career.  If you’re casually introducing yourself, then starting with your name and occupation will give the other person the opportunity to ask you more about it.

If you’re completing a self-introduction for an interview, it’s a great idea to talk about your profession and qualifications first and then move on to your hobbies, interests, and ideas you can offer the company.

 

How Can I Introduce Myself in 10 lines in English?

You can introduce yourself in 10 lines in English by including your name, where you live, and a few important facts about your professional and social life.

 

“Hello and nice to meet you. My name is Harry.  I am 35 years old and I’m an English teacher.  I have been teaching English for over 10 years.  I studied English at Oxford University and I graduated in 2003.  I am from the UK, however, I’m currently living and teaching in China.  My hobbies include cooking and watching movies.  I enjoy reading and spending time with my friends in my free time.”

 

Follow these guidelines to introduce yourself in 10 lines:

 

  1. Start with a standard greeting: Hello, nice to meet you
  2. Introduce yourself by name: I’m.../my name is…
  3. Introduce your age (if you want to): I’m … years old
  4. Include your profession: I am an…(English teacher/student/stay-at-home parent)
  5. Include how long you have done your job: I’ve been teaching/studying for…
  6. Include the university or school you studied at: I studied at…
  7. Include where you’re from: I’m from…
  8. Include where you live now: I live in…
  9. Include your hobbies: my hobbies are/my hobbies include…
  10. Include other interests: I enjoy running/sleeping/eating/playing football.  

 

Examples of Introducing Yourself in English

Introducing yourself in a foreign language can be extremely nerve-wracking.  If introducing yourself in English is challenging for you, stick with the basics and keep your sentences short.  The best thing you can do when introducing yourself in English is to be clear and concise.  Don’t try to overdo the introduction or dress it up with too much fancy vocabulary and phrasal verbs - you want to be understood clearly so keep your sentences concise and specific to the situation.

 

We must also always assess the situation in which we are introducing ourselves.  If it’s a job interview introduction, then we mustn’t expect to have a two-way conversation.  We are expected to share as much relevant information about ourselves as possible in no longer than 3 to 5 minutes.  If we’re introducing ourselves in a casual setting, then we must use a two-way conversation to introduce ourselves.  If the person we’re speaking to is interested in hearing more then they will ask follow-up questions.  It’s also a great opportunity to return the questions and find out more about the person we are speaking to.  

 

In A Casual Situation:

“Hello.  It’s great to meet you.  My name is Sarah. What’s your name?”

“Morning.  I’m Tom.  Good to meet you. How’s it going?”

“Hi.  I’m Matt.  What’s your name?”

 

In A Job Interview:

“Hello.  My name is Sally. Firstly, thank you for your time this morning.  I appreciate this opportunity. I am an IT specialist.  In terms of my qualifications, I studied at Stanford University. I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in information technology. Once I finished my degree, I started working at XYZ company.  So far, I have over 10 years’ experience in the IT field.  I have worked with some of the top names in the IT field such as...  I’ve learned a lot through my experience and I would like to keep challenging myself and growing my skills.”

Tips To Introduce Yourself in a Casual Meetings in English 

It’s common to introduce yourself in casual meetings in English.  Casual meetings are different from very formal greetings like a job interview because they are two-way conversations.  There is no need to ramble off all of your achievements in life when casually introducing yourself.  It’s also good to express interest in the other person you’re speaking to.  Every so often, you should take a moment to ask a question to find out more about the other person.

 

Example:

Sarah: “Hi.  I’m Sarah.  What’s your name?”

Peter: “Morning.  My name is Peter.  Where are you from?”
Sarah: “I’m from America.  What about you?”

Peter: “I’m from the UK.”

Sarah: “That’s cool.  What do you do?”

Peter: “I’m a teacher.  And you?”

Sarah: “I work as a real estate agent.”

Peter: “How long have you been a real estate agent?”

Sarah: “For about 2 years.  How long have you been teaching?”

Peter: “I’ve been teaching for 5 years.”

 

This is an example of how a casual introduction develops through a conversation instead of one person talking about themselves for 5 minutes straight.  

Learn The Phrases To Start a Conversation

It can be difficult to start a conversation with a stranger.  We can use lead-in words (well or so) before we start speaking to introduce the fact that we’re starting a conversation.  It is common to start a conversation with a question rather than jumping in with an introduction.

 

The way we start a conversation will depend on who we are speaking to.  If we’re speaking to a stranger, we usually use an introductory question to find out more about them like ‘hi, what's your name?’ If we’re starting a conversation with a friend or acquaintance, we can ask questions like ‘how have you been?’

 

Examples of introductory questions:

“So, what’s your name?”

“I don’t think we’ve met.  I’m Jessica.  What’s your name?”

“Hi! It’s nice to meet you. Where are you from?”

“What are you doing here today?”

“What did you think of the performance?”

“Long time no see! How have you been?”

“How’s your family doing?”

“So, are you still working at XYZ company?”

Be Ready To Answer for Questions About Yourself 

There are a limited number of questions people can ask you about your life - so why not practice your answers to be ready to answer them?  If you practice the answers to personal questions about your life then you will never be caught off-guard.  

 

We know that people will ask us questions when they meet us for the first time, so run the questions through your head a few times to be sure that you are ready to answer them.  The more you practice, the more natural the sentences will sound and they will come to your mind a lot faster.

 

Examples of common questions:

“Where are you from?” “I’m from the UK.”

“Where do you live?” “I live in New York”

“How long have you lived in New York?” “I’ve lived in New York for 5 years.”

“How old are you?” “I’m 26 years old.”

“What do you do?” “I’m an accountant.”

Ask Some Questions to Continue Conversation 

It’s important to show interest and sound polite when you’re introducing yourself in English.  If you want the conversation to flow naturally then you must ask follow-on questions.  The conversation can fall flat and die very quickly if you don’t keep asking questions.  The person you’re speaking to might lose interest if you only speak about yourself without asking them any questions.  If there is a moment of silence then it’s a great opportunity to throw in another question to keep the ball rolling.  You can change the topic or the focus on the question to keep it interesting.

 

For example:

Person 1: “Hello. Where are you from?”

Person 2: “I’m from Turkey and you?”

Person 1: “I’m from China.”

Person 2: “So what brings you to America?”

 

The above conversation could have died after “I’m from China,” but the follow-on question “so what brings you to America?” gives you something else to talk about.  Hopefully, the other speaker will return the question and another topic of conversation will arise.  Keep asking questions to keep the conversation flowing.

Be Nice and Confident 

Confidence is key in every situation in life.  We must show our confidence through the way we hold ourselves and the way we speak.  We will naturally make other people feel more comfortable when we feel confident.  The next time you introduce yourself, focus on the way that you hold your body and make sure you have a smile on your face - and don’t forget to make eye contact.  

 

Most people go blank when they introduce themselves and forget everything that they know about themselves.  To prepare yourself, listen to other people’s introductions if you can and run through some phrases in your mind before it’s your turn to introduce yourself.

Tips To Introduce Yourself in a Formal Meetings in English 

The only time you’ll be required to introduce yourself in the way you usually learn in English classes is in a job interview or before you give a speech.  In every other situation, it’s common to engage in an introductory conversation.  However, there are a few differences between casual greetings and formal greetings. 

Use Formal Phrases to Start Introducing Yourself 

Formal phrases to introduce yourself in English are never reduced and they are not question phrases either.  

 

Examples:

“Hello.”

“Good morning/good afternoon/good evening.”

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen.”

“Hello everyone.”

 

It’s also considered more formal to use ‘my name is…’ instead of ‘I’m…’

 

If you have spoken to the person via email and not met in person say:

“It’s a pleasure to meet you in person.”

“It’s great to officially meet you.”

 

Other useful formal phrases include:

“Thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.”

“I am grateful for your time and this opportunity.”

Prepare Some Information About Your Work Experience 

Once you have introduced yourself and told everyone your name, you must be prepared for questions like “what do you do?” or “where do you work?”  

 

Introduce your profession:

“I’m a teacher/doctor/professor/electrician.”

“I work as a teacher/doctor/professor/electrician.”

“I work in the education industry/medical field”

 

Use the present perfect or present perfect continuous tense with FOR/SINCE to talk about the duration of your career:

“I have been teaching for 10 years.”

“I have worked as a doctor for the last 20 years.”

Say Things That Make You Special at Your Work 

There’s nothing wrong with a humble brag about your work-life - especially if you’re in a job interview. 

 

For example:

“I’m a doctor.  I’ve been working on curing cancer for the last 10 years and we’re finally making breakthroughs.”

 

Sharing this kind of information keeps the conversation flowing.  The person you are introducing yourself to can ask for more information and you can also ask questions about their achievements at work.

Practice With Someone Before You Go on Formal Meet

A native English speaking partner is the best resource for learning how to introduce yourself in English.  They can help you sound fluent and natural when you introduce yourself in English.  Unfortunately, the way we usually learn to introduce ourselves in language classes is rarely the reality.  This can lead to introductions that sound unnatural.  An English speaking partner will be able to practice with you to help you sound as natural as possible before a formal meeting.

Best Phrases To Introduce Yourself in English 

It’s important to first start with a greeting that introduces who you are.

 

In formal situations:

“Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Good morning. My name is… Thank you for your time today.”

“Good afternoon.  It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.  How are you today?”

 

In casual situations:

“Hi! I’m…”

“Morning.  I’m… How’re you doing?”

“Hey.  My name’s … What’s your name?”

 

Then you can move on to talk a little bit about your life.

 

In formal situations:

“I work as a…”

“I work in the … industry/field”

 

In casual situations:

“I’m a …”

 

There are also different ways to introduce your hobbies in formal and casual situations.

 

In formal situations:

My hobbies include reading, writing and exercising.”

 

In casual situations:

“In my free time, I like to read, write and exercise.”

How To Introduce Yourself at Different Places

There are countless ways to introduce ourselves in English.  However, each way of introducing ourselves is limited by the situation we’re in.  Where we are when introducing ourselves will determine the way we introduce ourselves.

At School 

Most teachers want students to get to know each other.  So, on the first day of school, it’s common for a teacher to ask the class to introduce themselves and tell a bit about themselves and their hobbies or interests. 

 

If you’re lucky, you won’t be the first person to introduce yourself so you can listen to other people’s introductions first.  This will help you construct an introduction that includes the same information. 

 

How To Introduce Yourself At School:

 

As always, start with your name before talking about your hobbies and the subjects that you enjoy at school.  School introductions don’t need to be long introductions. You can also end it with a ‘thank you’ to show that you’re finished speaking instead of awkwardly trailing off.  

 

“Hello, my name is… I enjoy reading, writing and going out with my friends.  My favourite school subjects are maths and science.  I also go to dancing classes and enjoy performing on stage.  Nice to meet you.  Thank you.”

At Work

You’re less likely to be put on the spot in the office but your new work colleagues will probably want to know something about you.  Answer their questions confidently and ask some questions back.  Work introductions will set the tone for your relationship with your colleagues, so focus on being friendly and welcoming.  

 

How To Introduce Yourself At Work:

 

Start with your name and your position at the office and then start asking questions to your colleagues.

 

“Hello, my name is… I’m the new salesperson.  What’s your name?”

 

You can follow this question with others like: how long have you been working here? How do things work around here?”

 

At work, it’s best to enter into a two-way introductory conversation to make sure you’re showing as much interest in your colleagues as they show to you.

On Job Interview 

You will need to be fully prepared to introduce yourself in a job interview.  This is one of the only times when you’ll be required to speak for 1 to 3 minutes about yourself, your work experience and your hobbies.  The interviewer will usually add follow-up questions, so be prepared to answer their questions in your introduction as well.

 

How To Introduce Yourself In A Job Interview:

“Hello.  It’s a pleasure to meet you.  Firstly, thank you for your time today.  I appreciate this opportunity.  My name is… and I am a … I have been working in this field for over 10 years. I started working after I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in ...  Since then, I have worked for XYZ companies.  I completed my Master’s Degree in … while I was working at ABC company.  Some of my career highlights include… I am a team player and I love working with other people to solve problems and come up with new and innovative solutions.  Outside of work, I love cycling, reading and spending time with my family.”

 

Above is an example of the points you can talk about when you introduce yourself in a job interview. Take your time to expand on the points you speak about.  Focus on not rushing through the whole speech.  Take a deep breath and speak slowly and clearly.  It’s important to remember that it’s not a race.  If you rush through the introduction, you’re at risk of missing out on important information about yourself.

 

On Presentation 

A presentation self-introduction is also not a two-way conversation.  Before you start a presentation, you should introduce yourself and share the relevant information about yourself that concerns the presentation you’re about to give.  If it’s a work presentation, then introduce yourself, your position and what you will be speaking about during the presentation.

 

How To Introduce Yourself Before Giving A Presentation:

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen.  My name is … I work at ABC company and I am a … Today, I’m going to share with you my research into…”

 

Once you have introduced yourself by name and occupation, you can also tell a short story to introduce the topic or pose a question to your audience to get them thinking.  An introduction into a presentation should be well-thought-out, witty and engaging.  You want to capture your audience’s attention.  Presentations can be boring so let your audience know that yours will be engaging and interesting from the beginning.

On Social Media 

Social media introductions are usually a few short lines that include your name, marital status, age, where you went to school and your current occupation.  Most people usually include where they live too.  If you’re introducing yourself on a platform like Instagram or Tiktok, you will want to come up with a short self-introduction that summarizes who you are in a few words.

 

Examples:

“I’m Clara.  21.  I’m from Seattle.  I love the sun, the sea and relaxing with my friends.”  

At Class

To introduce yourself to your classmates, you must focus on asking as many questions as you’re asked.  First impressions count in class - so make sure you start off on the right foot.  Prepare some phrases to introduce yourself and talk about your hobbies to make sure you’re ready for any questions you might be asked.

 

Example:

“My name is Simon.  I’m from the United States.  I live in Germany.  I’ve been living here for 5 years.  Where are you from?”

At Party

It’s common to answer questions like ‘so how do you know the host?’ or ‘what do you do for a living?’ at a party when you’ve met someone for the first time.  These conversations are known as small talk and you could be required to speak about anything from the weather to which high school you attended or if you’re married or not.  

 

An Example Of Small Talk:

Person 1: “Hi.  What’s your name?”

Person 2: “I’m Chad and you?”

Person 1: “I’m Justin.”

Person 2: “Nice to meet you.”

Person 1: “You too.  How do you know the host?”

Person 2: “We went to school together.”

Person 1: “That’s cool.  We went to university together.”

Person 2: “Oh, you went to Harvard too? What did you study?”

Person 1: “Law.  What do you do?”

Person 2: “I’m a freelance writer.”