#199: 3 Introductions for Work in English [Professional English Skills]

by | Mar 3, 2021 | 3 comments

Introducing yourself in your native language is so simple, right? You’ve done it 13,208 times in your life. It’s natural. Automatic.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to feel the same in English?

Recently one of my students sent me an email saying,  “I have many topics that I need to improve, but one that would be very helpful is talking about myself when I need to do informal or short introductions, for example with colleagues and new clients.

Today I want to help her and you get clarity and confidence when introducing yourself in English. 

With today’s lesson, you’ll get a clear structure to follow and easily adapt for any introduction at work so that you can confidently make connections.

3 Introductions for Work in English 

With a 4-Step Structure and 3 Clear Examples

(FULL TRANSCRIPT)​

 

How many times do you think you’ve introduced yourself to other people in your native language?

Think about all the new neighbors, other parents, colleagues, coworkers, bosses, supervisors, doctors, nurses, bank managers, teachers at the gym or your yoga studio. Think of all the people that you’ve met in your life and how many times you’ve probably introduced yourself.

You’ve done it so many times. You don’t even have to think about it. It’s simply automatic.

Not only that, but you can easily adapt your introduction to any situation or any individual. Of course, at a dinner party, you might be more relaxed and use more personal information. Whereas at work, you’re going to use a more professional introduction.

You automatically change your introduction so that it’s appropriate for that situation.

But what about in English?

Recently, one of my students sent me an email and said:

Annemarie, I have many topics I want to improve.

But one that would be very helpful is talking about myself when I need to do an informal or short introduction. For example, with colleagues and new clients.

Do you feel the same way?

I’m Annemarie with Speak Confident English. This is as always exactly where you want to be to get the confidence you want for your life and work in English today.

In this video, you’re going to learn a simple structure you can follow so that you can easily introduce yourself and adapt it appropriately to any situation, particularly at work.

You’ll also get three clear examples of how to adjust your introduction for meeting new co-workers, introducing yourself to a potential client, and when introducing yourself in a business meeting or an online meeting.

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have a hundred percent clarity on how to best introduce yourself and feel comfortable doing it so that you can easily make connections and build relationships with others.

Let’s get started right away with step number one in how to best introduce yourself in English at work.

The first thing you need to do is decide whether this is a formal or casual situation.

You already do this instantly in your native language, but in English, your mind might be overcome by other areas of stress. For example, the anxiety of having to communicate in English or worrying about what might be the right thing to say.

So in another language we do need to consciously think about is this a formal or casual situation, because that will certainly influence what you say.

With more formal introductions, we use more formal greetings. We’re more likely to use a title, for example, Mr., Dr., Or Ms. And we’re more likely to use first and last names as well.

That first decision is important because it will determine how you adapt your introduction appropriately.

Once you’ve decided whether this is appropriate for a formal or casual introduction, step two is start with a greeting and your name.

It may be as simple as, Hey, I’m Annemarie or hi everyone, I’m Rebecca. Or more formally hello or good morning, I’m Rebecca Stewart.

In an introduction, particularly formal introductions, we tend to use our given name or our formal name, but it’s possible that you have a nickname or there’s a short form of your name that most people call you.

In this part of the introduction, you could certainly follow up with something like, but please call me Becca or, but everyone calls me Becca.

Here’s what that would sound like if we put it all together, Hey, I’m Rebecca, but please call me Becca.

And then step three in our structure for an introduction is to share relevant details and keep it simple.

This is the most important and the most challenging part of the introduction, because there are some big decisions to make.

For example, if you’re meeting your boss for the first time and you introduce yourself in English, talking about how much you love pizza or how you can’t wait to take some time off from work to go on vacation, wouldn’t be appropriate, right?

The same is true if you’re on an international zoom call with colleagues in your industry. In your introduction, you wouldn’t spend time talking about your hobbies or whether you have kids.

I know all of this seems obvious and it is, it is obvious to us when we think about introducing ourselves in our native language. But we struggle when we have to do it in another language.

When you have to introduce yourself in English and you need to make a decision about which details are relevant for this particular situation.

Here’s a question that you should ask yourself. What does this person, or what do these people need to know about me? What is most important right here right now?

A new coworker may want to know what is your position or job title in the company? What is your role or problems do you solve in the company? If they have a problem, can they come to you to ask for help? Are you the right person? How long have you been at the company? What do you like about working there?

Now of course later, as you get to know your new coworker, other more personal details will become part of the conversation.

But that first introduction is thinking about what does this person need to know about me right now?

If you’re introducing yourself to a potential new client, what they need to know the most in that moment is what is your position?

Why are they meeting with you and not someone else? What is your particular area of expertise or how are you going to help this potential new client solve a problem? How will you be able to answer any questions they have?

And finally, if you’re in a meeting or an online call with peers or others in your industry, they will also want to know your position or which team you’re on within the company. They may want to know where you’re located, if you’re part of an international company and they would certainly want to know why you are on this particular call, what expertise do you have that will be important in the conversation.

Those are just a few examples of what someone may need from you in the moment that you’re introducing yourself.

Now in this third step, I said that you have to share relevant details and keep it simple.

Thankfully in English introductions are typically extremely short. You don’t need to spend a lot of time talking about yourself. You don’t need to give your entire job history.

There are situations where that may be more appropriate. If you’re giving a presentation or you’re lecturing, it would certainly make sense to give a much longer introduction in that moment, but here in these situations, keep it short, keep it simple.

Remember you can always share more and become more personal. If you want to ask the conversation continues after the introduction.

The last step of a successful introduction is to end with a positive statement or a question.

Once again, you need to think about the context or the situation that you’re in. Are you meeting a new coworker in a casual situation where it makes sense to continue a conversation after the introduction? If so, you would probably want to continue that conversation by ending with a question so that you can start to get to know your new coworker.

But if you’re in an online meeting with 23 other people, that certainly is not the moment to continue in a conversation with one other person. So instead you would quickly introduce yourself and end with a positive statement, such as I’m looking forward to our discussion today, I’m looking forward to working with all of you on this project, or I’m looking forward to learning more about your work.

And that’s it. That’s all you need for a simple, clear, successful introduction at work.

  • Decide if it’s formal or casual.
  • Start with a greeting and your name.
  • Share relevant details, keeping it simple.
  •  End with a positive statement or a question.

 

Now that you have that structure, let’s look at three clear examples to put this into practice.

 

Introduction for Work Number One is for when you have a new coworker or team member.

A perfect introduction might be:

Hi, I’m Rebecca, but everyone calls me Becca.

I’m the digital outreach coordinator in the marketing department. What that really means is I’m responsible for our social media presence. And I look for opportunities to partner with other sponsors, community members or social media influencers.

If you ever have a social media question or a great idea, I’m definitely your go-to person. And what about you? Tell me more about what you’ll be doing here.

Let’s take a quick look at how that introduction uses all four of our steps.

First it’s clearly casual, which is definitely the right approach with a new coworker. We use a casual greeting with hi, and we use a first name followed by a short name. Then the introduction includes the job title and some additional details on what that job title really means or what that person’s role is in the company.

And finally it ends on a positive note by sharing how this person can be helpful to their new coworker in the future and with a question.

Now let’s take a look at example number two, an introduction that you might use when meeting a new client or a potential new client.

Hi, good to meet you. I’m Rebecca Stewart, the digital outreach coordinator here, which means I’m the person who can answer all your questions about social media partnerships.

I’m definitely looking forward to getting to know you better in this meeting today and identifying opportunities on how we might be able to work together going forward.

Once again, we have all four steps in that introduction. It’s slightly more formal than our first example. And we can see that reflected in the fact that in this introduction, the first and last name are included. There’s a brief description of the job title and the role or responsibility of this individual. And it ends with a positive statement.

Finally, example three, an introduction you might use for an online or face-to-face meeting.

Good morning, everyone, Rebecca Stewart, I’m the digital outreach coordinator in our Chicago office marketing department. I’m looking forward to learning more about how our team can help you on this project today of our three introductions.

That one is certainly the most formal we’ve used a more formal greeting with good morning, and we’ve included a first and last name. There is a very short statement with the individual’s job title and which team they’re on in the company. They also include where they’re located. And finally, there’s an ending with a positive statement.

Introductions in English can be much easier than you think they don’t need to be complicated or long.

Following this simple structure will help you successfully introduce yourself in a variety of situations at work.

And now the best thing that you can do is practice. I would love for you to share an example introduction with me and others in the Confident English community, in a comment below.

Think about a real situation in your work life. Imagine someone that you may need to introduce yourself to a new coworker, a new client, a new boss, a potential partner. How might you adapt your introduction to those situations?

Follow the examples I’ve given here today. Practice with your own example and share it with me below.

Now, before we finish today, I know you might be thinking Annemarie, this is all really helpful, but what about after the introduction? What do I say next? How do I start a conversation with someone new at the office?

Those are all great questions. And I’ve got a lesson coming up for you very soon on that topic with that.

If you found today’s Confident English lesson, helpful to you, I would love to know. And you can tell me in three simple ways, number one, give this lesson a thumbs up on YouTube and be sure to subscribe to this channel. So you never miss one of my Confident English lessons.

Number two, if you have friends, family, or coworkers who are also working to build confidence in their English, share this lesson with them directly by email or on Facebook, and finally practice practice with me by sharing your example, introduction below, have a wonderful week.

Thank you so much for joining me. And I look forward to seeing you next time for your Confident English lesson.

You know what’s next. It’s time to practice!

In today’s lesson, you learned a simple 4-step structure to introduce yourself easily at work plus 3 examples.

Now it’s time for you to try using that structure in your own example. Share with me below and read examples from other students. It’s the perfect opportunity to get practice.

Have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday!

~ Annemarie

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