If you have difficulty thinking about what to say when you have to introduce yourself to a group of people for the first time, you needn’t worry. A lot of native speakers have difficulty with this situation too.
Below are some examples of phrases you can use to introduce yourself and help other people get to know you.
* * *
Example of a Professional Self-Introduction
Below is an example of a brief (100-word) introduction in a formal style, the style that is commonly used at a job interview or business event, or in a cover letter. It answers all of the most common questions that people in these situations typically want to know about you: Where are you from? What do you do? What are your special skills?
Hello, my name is Matt Lemanski. I am the creator of Speaking of English, a blog for intermediate English learners who want to become more fluent in the language. I am originally from the United States and I currently live in Germany. I have been a teacher since 2008, and specialize in business writing and IELTS preparation. Before becoming a teacher, I worked as a copyeditor for government agencies in Washington DC and as a ghostwriter for startup founders and independent consultants around the world. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, practicing photography, and exploring the city by bicycle.
Notice the words and phrases used (such as originally, currently, specialize and before), and notice also which words are not used: there are no idioms, no phrasal verbs, no opinions. Notice also that there are also no contractions (I’m, I’ve, my name’s), which adds to the formal tone.
Example of a Self-Introduction for IELTS
If you take the IELTS, your self-introduction may sound a little different, since the Speaking Test is structured like a conversation. Watch the video below and listen to how this top-scoring candidate from Spain introduces himself:
To the question ‘What are you studying, and do you enjoy it?’ Xavier offers some good details:
I’m studying law and I do enjoy it, most aspects of it. But in this final year there is a lot of hard work and a lot of reading, and I cannot say that I enjoy all of this reading. But what I really enjoy is working on case studies. What I mean is discussing cases. I like to exchange ideas with people.
His answer to ‘What are your future plans?’ also includes some good phrases:
I want to have a career in law, but I have to decide which area to specialize in first, and then maybe study for another four or five years. I hope to specialize in environmental law, which is the law that businesses have to abide by to ensure that their practices do not affect the environment.
* * *
Useful Phrases to Describe Your Job / Studies
Below are some other phrases commonly used in professional introductions:
- I work at English Experts in the Marketing Department. When English speakers want keep their introduction simple (and avoid giving long or complex titles like Senior Vice President and General Manager of North American Sales for Behemoth Enterprises), they often just give the name of the company, and perhaps their department. This phrase also works for students: I study Chemistry at Toronto University / I’m a student at Toronto University, in the Chemistry Department.
- I have worked at English Experts since 2012 / for 8 years. Details about time are nice to include in your self-introduction, but remember that English requires a different verb tense (known as the present perfect) when you use the prepositions for or since.
- I’m responsible for managing the digital marketing campaigns. When introducing yourself to people in the same company or department, you can use this phrase to describe the most important thing you do. Similar phrases include I’m in charge of and I deal with. Notice the ing. This phrase requires a noun (or a gerund, which the noun form of a verb), so you can also use nouns with these phrases: I’m in charge of the website / I deal with the suppliers.
- I hold a master’s degree in Chemistry from Toronto University. This phrase is useful when you want to highlight your educational achievements, but it is typically only found in cover letters and formal documents. In conversation, English speakers use a slightly more informal phrase: I have a master’s in Chemistry / I have an M.A. in Chemistry.
- When not in the office, you can find me on the football pitch. This is a nice alternative phrase for mentioning other activities, especially if you have many sentences that start with I (I work... I'm responsible... I hold...). When not studying Chemistry, you can find me spending time with my family. Notice the ing endings.
Other Common Phrases for Introducing Yourself
- I’m based in London, but I live in New York. This phrase is used when you want to make it clear that your current living situation is temporary, or you do a lot of traveling because of your job.
- I live in New York, but I’m originally from Lisbon. English speakers like to use this phrase when mentioning their native country or city. It’s more common than phrases like I was born in / I grew up in.
- I’m a colleague of Jane’s. When introducing yourself in a group or at an event (like a party or a conference), it’s helpful to explain your connection to other people in the group or event. Similar phrases include: I work together with Jane / I’m Jane’s brother / Jane and I both study Chemistry at Toronto University.
- I would like to improve my writing skills so that I can get a better IELTS score. When introducing yourself at an event (for example, a writing club), it’s also a good idea to explain your goal or reason for being there.
- I’m the father of two young girls. You can use this phrase if you want to say something about your family (it’s also a simple way for parents to explain why they don’t have much “free” time). Similar phrases include: I’m the daughter of two psychologists / I’m one of eight children / I’m the son of Queen Elizabeth.
Photo by Manja Vitolic