Tell me about yourself! Introduce yourself in English with EASE!
Do you hesitate or feel a little awkward when you get asked to introduce yourself? Do you wonder if your self-introduction sounds natural and accurate? This is the ultimate lesson to help you respond to “tell me about yourself”!
After practising with Emma, you’ll be able to introduce yourself confidently and with ease!
Well hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! Today I’m going to teach you to introduce yourself effectively. And there are three reasons why this is such an important skill to learn. Of course, we’ve got to introduce ourselves all the time, right? In lots of different contexts.
So spending the time getting your introduction right is gonna help you and it’s gonna benefit you over and over and over again. And when you meet someone new, you will likely feel a little nervous. It’s totally normal, right?
But if you can get off to a good start, then it’s gonna help you to feel more confident going into the rest of the conversation. So nailing that first introduction is so important.
And of course, if you can introduce yourself clearly and confidently, you’ll make a great first impression with people that you meet. This is going to help you build great relationships, to make friends and be liked which really, deep down is what we all really want.
Ideally, you’re watching this video with your notebook handy so that you can take some notes as we go. You can listen to me talk about introducing yourself as much as you like but if you don’t start playing with the language and the ideas that I’m sharing today to make it useful and relevant for yourself, what’s the point?
So if you’ve shown up today and you’re ready to participate in this lesson, let me know in the comments, I’m really excited to get started.
And of course, if you can think of a friend or a colleague who needs to work on this skill too, share this lesson with them, make sure you subscribe and let’s get into it!
So imagine hearing this question: Tell us about yourself.
And feeling cool, calm and collected as you reply. That is exactly what we’re working towards today. We want to, not only just answer this question with ease, but we want to do it accurately as well.
There are lots of different places and contexts where you might need to introduce yourself. Some of them are formal, some of them are really informal.
So knowing your context and your audience is extremely important, I can’t stress that enough. It’s so important. And adjusting your introduction just slightly to those different situations is a really powerful skill to learn. Because it might be useful to talk about your education and your profession in some contexts, but really weird to bring that up at a party, right? Like that’s a good way to bore someone to tears.
So let’s get started with your introduction today. And how do we start? We start really simply and casually with your name.
I am + [name]
I’m + [name]
- I am Emma.
- I’m Emma.
Now in most situations, it’s much more natural to use the contraction I’m Emma, it sounds much more relaxed that way.
My name is + [name]
My name’s + [name]
You can also say:
- My name is Emma.
- My name’s Emma.
Simple, right? You’ve got this.
Now what if you have a preferred name or a nickname? It is always really good to let the person who you’re addressing know right up front right? And an informal way to do that is to say:
My friends all call me + [name]
- My name is Beatrice, but my friends all call me Bee.
A slightly more formal way to do that is to say:
- My name is Ybiskay, but it’s hard for some people to say it, so you can call me Ybis.
This is a really great expression to note down if people find it really hard to say your name.
Maybe it’s a long name, maybe it’s not a very common name in the place where you live. You kind of get sick of having to explain it again and again. So as long as you don’t mind, then this is a really great way to introduce your name or a version of your name that you’d like to be called.
The next piece of basic information to include is something about location. It could be to do with where you’re living now or where you’re from originally. And there’s lots of different ways to elaborate on this type of information.
So I’m going to give you a few different ways of doing it here but it’s up to you to pick and choose which version works best for your story. Okay so experiment, get a little playful with some of these combinations.
I am from + [country/city]
I’m from + [country/city]
- I’m from Australia.
And again, I’m using that contracted form here because I am from Australia sounds just a little bit stiff, you know so to sound more relaxed, and more natural, say:
I’m from – with your country or your city name, could be either.
I am [nationality]
You could say: I am and your nationality adjective, so I’m Australian / Turkish / Vietnamese / Brazilian.
These are all examples of nationality adjectives. And these nationality adjectives are usually different to the country name, right?
So you’ve got to be careful that you’re using the right form of the word with each of these expressions.
We don’t say:
I’m from Australian.
Or I am Australia.
Now if you said: I’m from Melbourne. It’s actually not super clear whether that’s the place where you live now or where you’re from originally.
I come from + [place]
So if you’re not from the place that you’re in while you’re making the introduction, then you could say: I come from a place, you know and we use this when there’s a bit of distance between where you are now and wherever that place is so it could be another city or another country.
But if you want to be clearer, all you need to do is just choose some more specific verbs.
You could say:
I was born in + [place]
- I was born in Melbourne.
I grew up in + [place]
I was raised in + [place]
I spent my childhood in + [place]
I grew up in or I was raised in.
Or even, I spent my childhood in and a place name. So this is talking about you know when you were a child, where were you what were you doing, it’s an interesting way to bring up that part of your life. And they all express a really similar idea so you can pick and choose how you use them.
- I was born in Australia and spent my childhood growing up in various cities along the east coast. I’m originally from Melbourne, but now I’m based in Perth.
So if you wanna say how long you’ve been living in your current location, it is the perfect chance to use the present perfect.
- I’ve been living in Perth since 2016.
- I’ve lived in Perth for the past four years.
Or I could also say:
- I moved to Perth a few years ago.
There are just so many different ways to express this information, honestly. I could keep going!
And I’m sure that many of these structures are actually really familiar to you but as you’re preparing your introduction, really pay attention to the story that you’re telling.
And take the time to make sure that you’re expressing your ideas accurately. And once you write your introduction, you are most welcome to add it down into the comments below. I’ll take a look at as many as I can and make sure that they sound awesome.
So talking about your name, your location, these are the basics.
And like I said earlier, if you can get this part right, and you can just say it really naturally as soon as you get asked, then this is going to set you up really well for what comes next.
And what comes next really does depend on the context so I’ve got a few different options for you to consider here.
If you are introducing yourself to a new neighbour for example, you might choose to focus more on your family. But then if you’re introducing yourself at a job interview you might talk about job-related experience, obviously.
And if you’re introducing yourself to an English class, you might focus on your hobbies and your interests, things that will help the other people in your class connect with you and you know, reveal their shared interests.
Now you might want to talk about your family a little bit when you introduce yourself. And the amount of information that you share here is up to you whatever you feel comfortable sharing.
We want to be careful not to overshare you know, to bore someone with your entire family history unless they asked for it because they’re particularly interested.
But if you’re married you would say:
We’ve been married since + [time period]
- I’ve been married to my husband since August last year. For example.
Now if you’re not married but you still want to mention the length of your relationship, you can say:
We’ve been together for + [time period]
Okay, we’ve been together – in a relationship context, that tells the length of your relationship.
I always find it kind of tricky to talk about my relationship with my partner in English because we don’t actually have many words to describe it. My partner, Shah and I have been together for eleven years now. We’re engaged but we’ve been engaged for about six or seven years now. So we have no plans to get married so he’s not ever going to be my husband.
I can introduce him as my fiance, but then I always get asked “When’s the wedding?” You know, “What are your plans?”
And of course, we have none so that conversation gets really boring. And after eleven years of being together, the word ‘boyfriend’ is really flippant and not particularly useful so I usually just call him ‘my partner’.
But in our situation, we are business partners too and so in that context, things can also get really confusing.
So if you want to talk about the family that you live with, then you could say something like:
We are a family of + [number]
- We’re a family of five.
- I live here with my family. We’re a family of five.
I grew up in a family of + [number]
But if you’re talking about the family that you grew up in, then you need to clarify, you need to say:
- I grew up in a family of five.
Now that information is pretty general, it could be a single parent and four kids, or it could be two parents and three kids it’s pretty loose.
If you have children that you wanna talk about, say:
- I have a seven year old son.
- I’m a single parent.
- I’m a mother of twins.
And it’s really nice to add a little bit commentary around family members, just to make it a bit more interesting.
You could say:
- I’m a single mum. I’ve got twin girls, they’re five years old. And they just started school this year, so it’s been pretty exciting for us!
And the reason why adding just a little bit of this type of information is so great, is because it gives hints and clues to the person that you’re talking to to help them continue the conversation in a really positive way.
You know they could ask:
- What school are they going to?
Or maybe comment and say:
- You know, now that they’re at school, you must feel like you’ve got so much time to yourself again!?
Something like that.
When you’re talking about your brothers and sisters, of course you can say:
- I’ve got three sisters.
But it’s a bit of a mouthful to say: I’ve got two brothers and three sisters.
Right? So instead, we use the word ‘siblings’ to talk about brothers and sisters, it’s quite general. Two brothers and a sister would equal three siblings.
- I have three siblings.
Now when you say that, it doesn’t include you.
Okay you’re talking about the other children in your family. If you want to include you, say:
- I am one of four siblings.
And if you’ve got no siblings, then you’re an only child.
- I’m an only child.
You might also want to talk about your extended family. Now this is a really, really great expression to use when you’re talking about aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins.
By saying extended family, you’re including all of them, you don’t have to go into detail about who and how many, and all of that kind of thing.
- I live in Perth, but most of my extended family lives in Melbourne.
But saying extended family means you don’t need to list out everyone, right?
So you might want to talk about interests or hobbies things that you do outside of work. We’ll talk about work in a second so don’t jump ahead. But to talk about hobbies, you might say:
I enjoy + [noun]
- I enjoy baking.
Don’t say: I enjoy to bake.
Right? Enjoy as a verb is always followed by a noun and this is a gerund, okay?
You can always say:
I like / love + [noun]
So I love playing football, for example.
But the verbs like and love, they can be followed by a gerund or the verb infinitive and the meaning stays the same.
So you can also say:
- I love to play football.
The meaning is exactly the same.
You could say:
I’m really into + [something]
And this is a really great, a really natural way of talking about the things that you like.
- I’m really into jazz music.
Now having a couple of interesting things to include about yourself in your introduction is so useful in lots of different contexts.
If you’ve ever been part of an English class or some other meeting, where you’ve got to meet people for the first time, then the teacher will often suggest let’s go around the room and you’ll need to introduce yourself. Tell us your name, where you’re from and something interesting about yourself.
It’s always good to have something ready to answer this question maybe you’ve got a special talent or an interesting hobby or a unique achievement that you can share in the situation.
And a fun way of introducing this it to say:
One thing you may not know about me is…
One thing you may not know about me is I love to have dinner parties and I’ll spend whole days preparing and organising themed events for my friends.
So I’m curious to hear your ideas about this. See if you can finish the rest of this sentence down in the comments below.
One thing you may not know about me is…
Of course, you might want to talk about your job, right? So when you’re talking about your job, when you’re talking about your job in your introduction, usually you’re just sharing what you do and maybe who you work for. And again, there are lots of different ways to talk about your work, the company, etcetera.
But what we really want to do today is make sure you’re doing it accurately.
Prepositions and articles are really challenging to get right in this section, might be a little tricky so I hope that you are definitely taking notes as we go and that you’re applying the information that I’m sharing now to your situation.
Of course, you could say:
I am the + [job position]
Your job position is a countable noun so this means you need to include an article.
- I’m a graphic designer
- I’m an engineer.
Just make sure you’re not saying: I’m engineer. That’s wrong, okay?
And if there’s only one of your role within your company, then you definitely can use the definite article, the. Okay I talk more about definite and indefinite articles up here in this video.
But you could say:
- I am the CEO of a tech company.
- I am the owner of a florist.
I work in + [industry]
You could also talk really generally about the field or the industry that you work in by using in.
- I work in marketing.
- I work in construction.
- I work in design.
I work at / for + [company name]
Now if you wanna say which company employs you, then you can use either, at or for with the company name.
So you might say:
- I work at Vogue.
- I work at an architecture firm.
- I work for the government.
Do you work for yourself? Are you your own boss? Well in this case you could say:
- I work for myself.
- I’m self-employed.
- I run my own business.
And here’s a little hint. If you’re unsure about how to talk about your job in your industry, as it relates to your industry, then listen to others who are from your industry introduce themselves. Lots of TedTalks or lots of industry-relevant videos around where you can listen to people introduce themselves in that context and learn from them.
You may want to talk about education or your qualifications in your introduction and this is most common in a professional context maybe in an interview or you know, a work context. And again, there’s lots of different ways that you can do this. You could say:
I have a degree in + [industry]
Like architecture or design.
- I have a degree in engineering.
You can also say:
I’m a qualified + [job title]
- I’m a qualified engineer.
- I’m a qualified architect.
Now notice that I’m using the job title and not the industry there, okay? Sounds similar to saying I’m an architect but the difference is that the adjective qualified clarifies your status. Add it if it feels important to clarify given the context.
Maybe in an interview, it’s relevant. But there’s no need to tell someone at a party that you’re a qualified engineer, alright? In that context, you would just say:
- I’m an engineer.
If you’re studying at university now then some of these expressions are gonna be really useful.
I’m studying + [industry]
- I’m studying environmental science.
Or it could also be the name of your degree as well.
- I’m studying applied science.
I’m completing a PhD in + [area of research]
And whatever the research area is, maybe it’s public health.
- I’m completing a PhD in Public Health.
I’m in my final year of my [area of study] degree
- I’m in my final year of an economics degree.
I’m nearing the end of my studies is another way of expressing that.
And maybe you’re undertaking some less formal training.
And that’s totally cool as well, you might wanna say:
- I’m currently taking an online course to upskill.
- I’m doing an extra course to improve my skills in that area – something like that.
So by now, you should have a whole list of dot point ideas that we can start to build your introduction around.
For me, we could say: I’m Australian. I live in Perth. I’m originally from Melbourne. Interests, hobbies. I love swimming in the ocean every morning. I’m a qualified English teacher. I teach on YouTube. I’m interested in businesses and startups.
Great! Okay, have you got your list ready too? If not, just hit pause now, pause the video, write out your list and then continue on.
Because now we need to find a way to pull all of those ideas together, okay? We want to make sure that your sentences flow together and that they sound really natural as you speak or you say your introduction. And to do that we need to combine these ideas into some longer sentences and add a few grammatical words to help.
Hi, I’m Emma. I was born in Melbourne and I grew up in various cities along the east coast of Australia. I’ve been living in Perth on the west coast of Australia with my partner for the past four years and we absolutely love it, especially early morning ocean swims! I’m a qualified English teacher and I teach students online and I also have an interest in business and startups, as well. One thing you may not know about me is that I teach millions of students each month on my YouTube channel.
Now obviously you know that about me, but most people I meet don’t so, it’s always an interesting conversation starter.
This is the type of script that I want you to write now. Alright, and once you’ve got it written down, make sure you share it down in the comments below so that I can give you some feedback and some corrections to help you improve it if you need it.
The sooner you get your introduction written and shared down below, the better, the more likely I’ll be to see it and be able to respond. I definitely love to see you each commenting and giving support and constructive feedback to each other down in the comments below. It’s so helpful and it helps everyone to keep improving together.
Now once you have your script prepared and reviewed, save it on your phone, make a recording of it, whatever it takes to just have it with you regularly okay? And you need to practise it out loud. Alright? On a daily basis. Don’t just read it, practise how it sounds, how it comes out of your mouth.
This is going to help you to speak more naturally, feel more comfortable as you are saying the words and the sounds and connecting those things together. It’s really, really important that you practise out loud daily until you nail this.
But even before then, you know, start practising it in real English situations. It’s probably not going to be perfect at first, but you will get better every time you put it into that context.
And you put yourself into that situation or you hear that question: Tell me about yourself.
And you might freeze at first but it’s going to change over time, you know, you’ve prepared for this. You’ve got your answers ready. You don’t need to panic and that is the kind of headspace and feeling that you need to step into a conversation with.
I hope this lesson was really practical, really useful for you. And if you’re ready to keep building your conversation skills and learn how to keep your conversation going after you’ve introduced yourself, well move along to this lesson right here where we’ll practise some small talk conversation starters together.
I’ll see you in there!
Links mentioned in the video
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