4 Rhetoric tips for a good speech: self-introduction& self-presentation – more than resume

Self-introduction is an important point in any form of speech and presentation. With it you can draw attention to yourself and put yourself in the right light. It is a pity that so few speakers present themselves skillfully.

  • Without self-expression and self-presentation it does not work
  • How do you best introduce yourself to others?
  • Self-presentation for introverts
  • The fine art of self-presentation
  • Come across as someone who knows what they are doing
  • There is no second chance for the first impression
  • Why self-introduction is so important at work
  • More than the verbal resume
  • Use formal surprises
  • The perfect opening sentence
  • Improve the art of speech
  • The audience wants to see the speaker win
  • Performance alone is not enough
  • Symbiosis with the audience
  • The 4 maxims of a speech
  • Learning the art of packaging a speech
  • Buy text as PDF
  • Learn more – our books on the subject
  • Buy eCourse on Demand

Without self-expression and self-presentation it does not work

Self-promotion and self-presentation are incredibly important in today’s world. This applies to employees as well as to companies. It’s not for nothing that companies have whole armies of marketing professionals whose job is to present a brand or product in a convincing way.

What is true for businesses is also true for individuals: Self-marketing, persuading others through the right self-introduction, is an important building block for personal success.

How best to introduce yourself to others?

But in today’s world, where there are countless ways to present yourself, it can be difficult to know exactly what to say to present yourself and, even more difficult, how to say it. How do we say the right things? How do we speak to others? How do we present ourselves to others?

Even though most people are well aware of the importance of who they are and what they have to say, even though you know they need to leverage their strengths and present themselves in a way that makes others want to listen to them and get to know them better: Most people have simply never learned how to present themselves to others in the best way possible.

Self-introduction for introverts

You ask yourself much more: do you always have to introduce yourself to people or is it okay to let others do the talking?? The latter seems to work better for some, especially introverted natures. However, I do not always have the opportunity to do this. And at some point, even the most introverted person has to crawl out of their shell and introduce themselves.

But how do you go about it? Self-presentation is the art of making yourself more attractive to others, whether for professional purposes or personal interactions. In contrast, self-presentation rhetoric is a level of language that makes important points about you and your self-presentation more convincing.

The fine art of self-presentation

The art of self-presentation is to present yourself as well as possible. You are in control of the impression you make on your audience. This can range from presenting yourself as a role model, to presenting yourself as a leader, to presenting yourself as an emotionally and financially stable person.

Self-presentation and self-introduction is the area where it all starts, because you create your own image of yourself. It’s all about using good, cultivated language and expressions. It’s all about engaging the audience and thus developing a positive response.

Come across as someone who knows what they are doing

Self-presentation& Self-promotional rhetoric refers to the act of presenting oneself in a way that is consistent with the individual’s self-image and results in the presentation being perceived as accurate, normal, and appropriate. The image one presents of oneself in self-presentation should be as congruent as possible with the impression others have of us.

You should come across as a person who knows what they are doing and is able to give reasons why they are doing the work and why it is important.

There is no second chance for the first impression

Sometimes this involves things that seem quite superficial, such as images, sounds, and other things we use to portray ourselves. This image of us is often the first thing that determines how we see ourselves and how others see us.

The saying "There is no second chance for the first impression" is unfortunately all too true. I often hear people complain that they weren’t invited to parties because they wore the wrong outfit, that they didn’t get a second look from a potential partner because of their appearance, or that they didn’t get a job because they weren’t dressed well enough. It’s not pretty, but it’s human.

Why self-introduction is so important in the profession

In the workplace, the rhetoric of self-presentation is especially important in correspondence, leadership, and job interviews, but it also plays a role in the processes of job satisfaction, career development, and negotiating salary and benefits.

This shows why this topic is so important in a professional context. But how does one proceed concretely?

More than the oral resume

In a self-introduction, one must of course list a few stations in one’s life in a very mundane way. In addition to the name, this can then be ready. And that’s enough for some moments, too, because it’s the situation and the goal that matter.

But the ideal is a self-introduction that is a little more than a verbal resume. But who really wants to be remembered, uses a surprise, in which he packs these data in. Some examples:

  1. So you can use a content surprise as a red thread
  2. "My motto in life: Start at the top – it’s too hard to start from the bottom. That’s why I…".
  3. "My parents raised me, a girl, as a boy"
  4. "I never wanted to be a doctor because I couldn’t stand the sight of blood"
  5. One item changed my life [z. B. Braces, great grandmother’s dentures, etc. – possibly. even hold it up]

Taking advantage of formal surprises

Another way to draw attention to yourself: use a formal surprise. And it goes like this:

  • "I will marry 3 times, because an astrologer prophesied that at my birth"
  • "Five important events shape my life: In 2030 I become boss of xxx, in 2020 I learn Japanese, in 2010…" This is used to tell life backwards from dreams to birth.
  • "My life can be seen very differently: My mother would tell it this way, my father would describe it this way, my last supervisor this way…" – so three perspectives

The perfect opening sentence

In addition, it helps to have a direct introductory sentence that draws attention and a conclusion that serves as a "climax" and sets an emotional point of reference.

Monologue self-introductions, without turning into a conversation, usually last between 45 seconds and probably 10 minutes. You can prepare once with a "standard introduction" and also practice the introduction speech perfectly.

  1. The standard introduction is built up modularly so that it can be cut off from behind without losing substance. This gives the speaker an instant handle on any length
  2. The speaker builds in the special situation or audience through thematic variations

Thus, the speech is strategically ready at all times – but tactically flexible.

Improve the oratory

Over time, you can then slowly expand your oratory from speech to speech. You should not demand too much of yourself at once, because even Bach is not played perfectly on the piano the first time.

Step by step, it’s a matter of building your skills and understanding each public speech as if it were training. And when something doesn’t work out?

The audience wants to see the speaker win

Don’t worry: the audience didn’t know what you were up to, after all, and they’re always sympathetic except in a crisis speech. It wants to see the speaker win. That happens more or less intensively almost always – except one talks weed.

Nevertheless it is true: doctors do not learn it in their studies, managers are more intuitive users and even many professors, despite lectures, hold the effective speech for a foreign country. Good rhetoric is for many still a foreign word.

Performance alone is not enough

This is especially so in Germany, where a technology-oriented, engineering-driven, service-disciplined nation has been raised to believe that core performance only needs to be good enough to make a career and reap economic victories.

The fact that you have to convince other people through speech and talking was completely unknown even to the instructors in school, trade and study and it is mostly until today. But now no success way goes past the speech any more.

Symbiosis with the audience

But speakers and listeners work on a mutualistic symbiosis of cooperation. Speech is always about cooperation = the trend word also of the future. The speaker helps the listener thematically with his performance, as the listener helps the speaker through reaction.

By offering information, entertainment and emotional-soul contact, the speaker not only wants to be effective, but also to promote his own reputation and standing.

The 4 maxims of a speech

The English philosopher Paul Grice formulated communication maxims, which can be read like a manual for the basic development of a speech:

  1. Maxim of quantity: be at least as informative as is necessary for the recognized purpose of the speech. Do not make them more informative than necessary.
  2. Maxim of quality: try to be true and not to say anything you think is false. Say nothing for which you have no sufficient evidence.
  3. Maxim of relevance: don’t say anything that is not on topic and don’t change the subject.
  4. Maxime of style: avoid ambiguity, unnecessary verbosity and disorder.

Learn the packaging art of speech

Already this is missing in many trainings because the speech craft is not in the job descriptions. The result is too many PowerPoint presentations that do not meet any of these requirements. If you want and need to create an effective speech performance from these basic rules, it is necessary to learn the packaging art of the speech. A. Busch put it this way in his booklet "Speeches and Toasts" as early as 1899:

"So the art of speech can be acquired, that’s for sure. But here, as in many other things, practice alone does not make perfect. But it also requires certain instructions, rules and hints to be followed in order to become a successful speaker."

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