Learn How to Present Yourself in Public

  8 min
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For many, speaking about yourself can be overwhelming and scary. It is not rare to feel uncomfortable and clueless regarding what to say. We might fall into the mistake of being too detailed about our background or in sharing irrelevant or too personal information. That is why speaking in public requires preparation. Practice is key and the only way of feeling confident and prepared for a speech is preparation. Yes! To prepare and practice as much as possible. It also helps to be often exposed to new environments where you have to interact with new people and introduce yourself more often.

When starting, you might feel clueless or without a specific idea on what to say. You should also keep in mind that it will take a few trials and improvements to find your first presentation draft. Your performance will improve with time and by also sharing it with different audiences and applying people's feedback.

2. Solution

Being able to present yourself in a formal or informal context is an essential skill to master. If you are able to quickly share more information about your background, work and achievements, that will bring you closer to creating a good first impression when communicating with others.

2.1. Before you start

Keep these suggestions in mind in order to build your presentation draft:

Play with expressions
Make it funny and engaging for the reader to be interested in hearing your content.
Share your experience
A possible strategy when talking about yourself can be to include information about your past, present and future. You can start by wrapping up about your background, experience and relevant activities. You can secondly explain where you are currently and lastly you can share with the reader what is your goal, intention or area that you would like to specialize in. Of could this should be customized to each context.
End with a question
It can be particularly relevant to end your speech with a question that engages the audience or other person to engage in a conversation
Share other Information
There are a few different topics that you can consider when talking about yourself generically and choose those aspect that apply to the situation: Name, Age, City/country of origin or residence, Family status, Educational background, Projects background, Professional experience, Hobbies, Future goals, Interest areas, Fun fact.

2.2. How to do it?

In this section, we will give you advice on how to present yourself in public. A personal short presentation is usually called “elevator pitch”. The expression resembles the time you are in the elevator. Within that time you should be able to sum up your profile with somebody else. Having the ability to communicate effectively is a powerful tool. The receptor can perceive you as someone charismatic that he/she can build a relationship with and there are endless possibilities that can come from that interaction.

Adapt the speech and information to the person that is asking you this question. Is it a professional or personal situation? These are the aspects you should first consider:

1. Observe your environment
The nature of your speech need to adapt to the kind of environment and people you're with. For example if you're in a networking event you can talk more about business, but if you're in a Gala, business related talk need to be more retranined. In Summary, there is no direct recipe, it all depends on several factors. Also be careful to adapt your speech to the person that you are talking to.

2. Don't do long introductions
Don't take too long introducing yourself. Normally it's enough to say up to 2 phrases at the begining, later on you can tell more about when it is relevant. The first 30 seconds of the conversation is where you cativate the other person to talk to you, so make a brief introduction and then ask a question before passing the conversation tou your interlocutor.

Longer introductions sound like you're selling someone, so if you loose the other perso's attention you will not be able to get it back.

3. Engage in simple dialog
Normally people don't like long introductions or long storytelling when they are networking. Adopt a simple dialog with the person you're talking. Be direct and avoid oversharing information. Stick to the facts and avoid talking politics or polemic issues when you're meeting new people.

4. Take attention to time
Another important aspect is to sense if the person is available to hear you and for how long. Make the necessary adjustments according to that. In doubt, sharing only what is more relevant to you at that moment.

5. Be an awesome listener
People do listen, but often often prefer to talk. Don't make the mistake of monopolizing the conversation. Weather there are two or more interlocutors, you will need to share your speaking time between all.

Being a good listener is a good way to be likable and make the other person want to interact more in the future. You can also learn a lot from people, for example what interests they have and what business they are so that you can focus on they might be interested in.

6. Don't be the 3rd wheel in a group
Avoid being only a listenner when you're in a group, make sure you participate and give share your opinion. But try not to change the subject of the conversation too, best way to be integrated is to be sincronized with thje group.

Group conversations are more sensitive and you should not rush to make your points. Later you will have the opportunity to talk to each perso individually, so gather as much information as possible.

2.3. Cases

Different situations or different event types may require different approaches on how you present yourself. Here are the most common cases:

1. An entrepreneurship Event
Entrepreneurship events are the ones that you network with others and share your project and your ideas to others so that you can find the commercial partners , business partners or even clients.

In this case your introduction might be a little longer and work as pitch of your company. Here is an example of what you might say:

2. A Booth on a Trade Show you're visiting
You probably wan't to get to the interesting part right aways, so depending on the number of booths you want to visit you might cut to the chase right away. Here is an example:

3. A Chamber of Commerce event looking for a partner
These kind of events require you to make a longer and more carefull presentation of you and your company, and then engage in commercial opprtunities. Here is an example:

4. A Volunteering activity Event and everyone is presenting themselves
These kind of events require you sometimes to present yourself to a group or audience. Here is an example of how to do it?

5. You are being interviewed and get asked to talk about yourself
This is a pretty common question that is asked many times and you should be always prepared to respond. here is an example:

3. Remember

The important thing is to practice how you can present yourself and what you do in a way that it is interesting to people so that you can have their attention. Practice makes perfection, you will improve with time and experience. Please keep also in mind the following things:

Track the time to see how are you progressing
Speak slowly and articulately so the message can come across
Use breaks between explaining your ideas so the others have time to process
Practice makes perfection. Practise as much as possible and if possible record yourself and/or practise in front of the mirror. You will see major improvement from the first tries to the final ones
Take a few deep breaths before starting and use your hands to help you share your message
Move but not too much, running around while speaking can distract others.

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