Introducing ourselves is essential when learning a new language or starting a new job, yet it is not always an easy task. It is essential because it gives us the chance to communicate with other people in a foreign language, which is one of the main reasons why we learn it in the first place. Starting a conversation helps us improve our speaking skills and can lead to endless possibilities, however, we may find it difficult because for different reasons we might feel shy or not confident enough. Today we are going to share a few tips to introduce ourselves properly in order to start interesting and fruitful conversations in different environments, either formal or informal.
- Say your name and use polite phrases. This is a logical and effective way to start a conversation. Depending on the environment you can use a more formal or informal language.
- Examples of informal language: “Hello/Hi, my name is ______/I’m ____, nice to meet you/nice meeting you.
- Examples of formal language: Good morning/afternoon/evening, allow me to introduce myself, my name is _________, it is a pleasure to meet you/pleased to meet you.
- Give some information about yourself. An introduction is not complete unless you speak a little about what you do or your background. In this respect, depending on the situation, you can include some remarks about your job, your favourite leisure activities or your nationality or the place you live.
- Ask questions to the person you are speaking to. Introducing ourselves is not only about speaking, it is also about interacting with other people. Once we have given some information about ourselves, if we want to keep the conversation going, we should demand that information from the person we are speaking to.
- My name is _______, what’s your name?
- I work at University, in the Philosophy Department, and you?
- I come from Madrid, where are you from?
- I’m quite keen on indie music, what about you?.
- A more formal way to do this would include questions like “May I ask you____?” “I wondered if you could tell me _____”
- In the same way, you should be prepared to answer questions, since it is very likely that the person you speak to will also ask about you. In this respect, it is a good idea to have some information ready, such as the place we live, our job or the company we work for, the school we study at, our hobbies and interests, etc. Besides, a good way to “break the ice” when introducing ourselves is to choose general conversation topics or “small talk” like the weather, the current political situation or current events (e.g. the Olympics, the G-8 summit or a local festival)
- Be ready to end the introductions. Introductions can lead to a good conversation or even a close relationship, however, they might have no results at all. In this case, it is important to finish the conversation in a clear and polite manner. You can employ useful phrases such as “Excuse me, I must leave now” “It’s been nice meeting you/talking to you” “Enjoy your time here/have a very good time” and so on.
In any case, always remember:
- Have some information about yourself ready
- Try to be confident and do not worry about possible mistakes
- Be always polite, specially if you need to use formal English.
We hope you have found this post useful, you can always leave your comments below or share it in Facebook. If you want to know more about how to write a letter or e-mail please click on the link below.