Thursday, June 20, 2013

Speaking Skills: How to Introduce Yourself at a Teaching Seminar

This article is a continuation of my Speaking Skills: How to Introduce Yourself at a Seminar entry. This article focuses tips for a great Teaching Seminar self introduction. For more tips on how to do a self introduction in a seminar, visit my original article.
self introduction teaching seminar

Be Approachable & Relevant

Your goal here is to inform and entertain. You want to appear approachable and relevant. In this case the very fact you are teaching means you are already verified as an expert. There is no need to impress your audience with your pedigree or training unless it is particular interesting or odd.

Teaching Seminars are often more casual. These talks many times lend themselves well to jokes or the sharing of current events. If you do use jokes or anecdotes, keep them relevant. They should be used to ''engage your audience'' not to merely amuse.

Be Enthusiastic

For most Teaching Seminars your self-introduction will be short and sweet.  You will spend more time introducing your topic and your personality. Do not forget your enthusiasm. After all you want your students to WANT to listen. This is best done if you WANT to talk about it, so pretend that you do.

Example:

"My name is  Peter Gibbons, I work at Initech as a manager in the IT department. I am very excited to be here today to talk to you about cover sheets. I have discovered during my years as a manager that I am always trying to balance productivity with employee morale, a struggle I am sure you are all familiar with. Today I am going to talk to you about a new system of cover sheets we recently implemented at Innotech to improve productivity, and our outcomes on both productivity and morale. I hope you will find this helpful as you implement your own management schemes."


In the above example the speaker did the following things right:  
  • The speaker spent relatively little time on credentials or bragging. The speaker just said who he is and where he is from."My name is  Peter Gibbons, I work at Initech as a manager in the IT department." Then quickly moved into what he is there to teach.
  • The speaker made sure to share some enthusiasm for the subject, "I am very excited".
  • The speaker made an effort to engage the audience, "I am sure you are all familiar with".
  • The speaker helped orient the audience about the goal of this learning experience, "you will find this helpful as you implement your own management schemes."

Write it up

Now that you have decided you are giving a Teaching Seminar and identified your goals, it is time to craft your own introduction. You can use the above example as an outline when writing your own. Of course you will have to customize it for your own unique background, qualifications and goals. Remember in your Teaching Seminar introduction to express your enthusiasm for the subject at hand.


Practice

Once written, rehearse your introduction for friends or colleagues. Enlist their honest feedback before the big day. Rewrite and re-rehearse your introduction as needed based on feedback.


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