Delivering a speech can be intimidating, but it can be even more nerve-wracking when it’s a speech about yourself.
Many people are only comfortable sharing surface-level things themselves, like their name, age, where they live, or what they do for a living. However, what if you need to make an entire speech about yourself?
The key is making a well-written speech that people will want to hear. If you’re interested, here are some tips about how to write a speech about yourself.
Tip #1: Choose a tone to suit your audience
Before you write a speech, you should have an idea of who your audience will be.
Is this for a school event? A formal function? A family gathering? Knowing the event will give you an idea of who your audience could be. And once you do, you’ll have an idea of how formal or informal you can go.
Cracking some jokes could be great in a family gathering, but when it’s for a formal function, you might want to tone it down the yeets and lolz to keep it more professional. Keep in mind that your audience will dictate the piece’s tone and get you to where you need to be.
Next up is the ‘why?’. Why are you delivering this speech? Are you there to build a reputation? Or share about yourself with others? The why will lead you to other W’s like what, when, where and all further details you need.
Tip #2: Pick an opener that draws their attention
When doing a speech about yourself, the first thing you would want to do is to catch your audience’s attention right away. You can do this by using a catchy opening combined with an exciting introduction. The introduction is an essential part of your speech. It’s because it allows you to convince your audience that what you will say next is worth their time.
With that said, introductions and openings aren’t just a small part of your speech. If you want to get those ears listening right away, here are some opening lines you could try.
1. Strong and shocking statement
You can start by saying a piece of trivial information or a secret about yourself that people would find intriguing. Like this example from Lizzie Velasquez’s TED talk “How do you define yourself?” She opened her speech with a statement about her syndrome, which went like this.
“I was born with this very, very rare syndrome that only two other people in the world, including myself, that we know of have. What this syndrome cause is that I cannot gain weight. Yes, it does sound as good as it is. I’m gonna be 25 in March, and I never weighed more than 65 pounds in my entire life.”
This statement is a bit shocking, but it did get her audience listening. You can do something similar and slowly open details about yourself, which will lead to that same opening statement.
2. Open with a story
Stories are one of the most effective ways to open a speech about yourself. It’s because stories are often memorable and impactful. People are quickly drawn to hearing stories, especially ones that are relatable. In fact, people are more likely to remember stories from your speech rather than the points that you might give.
If you have an interesting story about yourself, it’s a great choice to use that as an opening to your speech. If you want to learn how to do storytelling in your speech, you can take a look at these 11 secrets of great storytelling speech.
3. Ask a question
Asking a question is the easiest way to get your audience’s attention and get them engaged. Of course, the question has to be related to something within your speech. Since it’s a speech about yourself, you can ask something related to a little-known fact about yourself or something you’re interested in. You can then use this question to elaborate on yourself and your interests.
4. Use a quote
Quotes can also work as a good opening statement when learning how to write a speech about yourself. It could quote from popular individuals, books, or a quote that you’ve always believed in, something like a life motto. Using quotations from well-known personalities can also spark familiarity with your audience. You can easily grab your audience’s attention when they hear something familiar and, ideally, a saying that they believe in as well.
5. As much as possible, don’t start with these…
Suppose you want to catch the audience’s attention right at the moment you begin. In that case, you should refrain from starting with the usual good morning/afternoon/evening greetings. Just like what’s mentioned in this article from Inc.com, avoid using these lines when opening your speech.
“Hello! Thanks for being here. My name is…”
“Hey…how’s everyone doing?”
“Good morning, everyone.”
“Hi there. Thanks for bearing with me today.”
“Let me start by apologizing for…”
Aside from being a cliche, these lines are overused to the extent that they sound uninteresting anymore. Like I mentioned earlier, you should catch your audience’s attention right off the bat, and these lines are a big no-no.
Tip #3: Outline and structure appropriately
When learning how to make a speech about yourself, it’s essential to outline your speech and make sure that you structured it appropriately. Ideally, you’d want to give a chronological order of events, like starting from your childhood to the present. Having a proper structure won’t only help you deliver your speech smoothly. It will also help your audience understand the speech easily since they’re following the flow of events.
Make sure your speech reaches your goal. Or at least deliver a lesson or impression you want to leave your audience. Don’t be sidetracked with adding too many anecdotes here and there. You may enjoy adding details, but having too much of it will most likely confuse your audience. If you’re looking for ways to improve your writing skills, you can take a look at this guide on How to Improve your English Writing.
Tip #4: Write it all down and show your creativity
Don’t be afraid to write everything you’d want to say on your draft. Write down all the personal details you’re willing to share. All the details that will make you stand out are worth mentioning. It’s okay if your initial draft is a bit too long, you can trim it down later on.
You can add these points depending on what your introductory speech is for:
- How did you get your first job?
- Your goals and what you’re doing to achieve them
Always try and keep it simple. Don’t use complicated words and overly-long sentences. Using simple sentences makes it easier for your audience to understand, so it’s best to keep it that way. But don’t be afraid to show your creativity. If you’re the type who likes to throw in some humor, then do so. Or you can also spice up your speech by adding literary devices. Here’s a big list of literary devices if you’re wondering which one you could use.
Once you’re done with your draft, you can trim it down and leave the significant bits. Usually, people aim for 5-7 minutes long with introductory speeches. But if yours is more prolonged, make sure to trim it to be as concise yet informative as possible.
Tip #5: Practice your speech
Delivering your speech in front of a crowd can be nerve-wracking. Public speaking is one of the scariest things to do for a lot of people. According to this study, people even fear public speaking more than death. But you can overcome this fear when you give it some time and practice your speech. You’ll be more confident if you come prepared.
So once you’ve finished the final draft of your speech, take some time to practice reading it aloud. You can do this in front of a mirror to see how you look, practice your facial expressions, and the pacing of your words. Try not to speak too fast and enunciate your words. Take a look at this video to see how you can improve your speaking pace during a speech.
You can also practice in front of a friend, a family, or a few other people. Doing this will allow you to adjust to speaking in front of an audience. You’ll also be able to ask for feedback from the listeners. Try to get detailed feedback by asking them these questions:
- Did they like your speech?
- What part was the weakest?
- What part was the strongest?
- Did they understand your message clearly?
- Was it enjoyable to listen to?
- Other general or specific questions you might want to ask.
Memorizing your speech
Although this may not be required, memorizing your speech or the outline, at least, will be helpful. It’s a lot better if you present your speech with minimal prompts. Your audience might lose interest if you’re always looking and reading a piece of paper while doing it. Instead of bringing the entire draft of your speech, you can opt for an index card with bullet points to help you remember the key points of your speech.
Presenting a speech about yourself without reading a paper can create a stronger impression of knowledge, confidence, and control. It will also help in keeping your audience’s attention since it will mostly look as if you’re talking to them directly. Hence, signaling more direct interaction and engagement.
Are you ready for your speech?
Using these five easy tips on how to write a speech about yourself, you can now create that epic self-introduction without too much struggle. Before you write anything, wait and give yourself a minute to ponder the topics you think you would like to speak about. Then go ahead and take it from there.