Slides and aids help you stay on track. But a presentation is always better when you feel the moment and express the points in your own voice. This reference will help you develop that voice.
Whether you’re here to dip your toe into corporate storytelling or prep for an upcoming presentation – I’m glad that you’re here. This is the right place to learn how to introduce yourself in a memorable way.
Your introduction sets the tone for the talk. The more that you do it, the easier and more natural it will become. With practice, the routine of introducing yourself will mentally and physically prepare you to present.
But let’s face it – nobody really cares who you are. Your introduction is not your chance to share your credentials or accolades. And it’s not your opportunity to justify why you’re qualified to speak on the subject. You’re better off skipping your intro slide altogether – unless you make your introduction relatable to the audience.
How do you get into people’s heads and keep them engaged? The easiest way is to tell a story.
Why are stories important?
Stories turn your audience into active listeners. People relate to stories because we’re trained from a young age to put ourselves in the story and look for meaning.
Stories naturally help you mature as a public speaker as well. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t read your slides. Sharing stories from a simple visual prompt is easier and more natural than memorizing slides or speaker notes. Everyone has experiences to share that will take their presentations to the next level. All that you need to do is take time coming up with them.
In this post, you can start by printing the Prompts to Create Your Introduction Story.pdf. Write down memories and craft them into stories that you can share on demand. It’s not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather a place to begin. Over the next few days, write down any experiences that you think could make good stories to share. You’ll use these later.
Introduction story deconstruction
My job title is Developer Advocate. But what does that mean to the layman?
“I sit between the developers building Pantheon and the developers using Pantheon.”
This is my quick “elevator pitch” version that I share when I’m on call or at a conference and I’m asked what I do.
When more detail seems like it would be useful I add:
“I take what I learn working at Pantheon out into the community and present sessions and training workshops. And I take everything I learn serving in the community back to Pantheon so that we make wise decisions and build functionality people will use.”
And because this is a talk about getting started with Pantheon, I pull from a new story. In this one, I share how I got started with Pantheon and the significant difference it made for me as a customer.
Ready to begin writing your own story? Download the Prompts to Create Your Introduction Story.pdf now.
Let me know how it goes
I made this blog post and the downloadable prompts to help you give better presentations. I sincerely hope that this is useful and I want to know if it worked for you. Reach out on Twitter @davidneedham, using the Email Me link in the main menu of this site, or leave a comment below. Typo corrections and suggestions for improvement are also welcome.