How to Create a One-Minute Introduction in English

If you’ve ever taken a foreign language communication class, chances are you’ve had to introduce yourself briefly more than once in that language. Usually you do it just to break the ice (or to help you get to know your classmates). Your teacher might also want to get an idea of your spoken language ability. But actually, there are many situations outside the classroom where you are required to briefly introduce yourself. You may be giving a presentation to a group of people who you don’t know, and before you start, you have to introduce yourself. Maybe someone will introduce you, but sometimes, you introduce yourself. You may have to introduce yourself in a job interview. In business, introducing yourself is something you might have to do quite frequently. You might have to make a sales presentation to business clients, for example. In this post I’ll share some advice that applies to those many contexts.

When you have only 60 seconds to introduce yourself in English, what should you say? Well, there are three basic parts to a one-minute self-introduction.

1) Who are you?

First, you simply tell people who you are. You can start off by saying your name, and what you do or have been doing – this could be your job title or what you’re studying. You could also say where you’re from. So, I’m going to share with you a few examples throughout this video, but please know that their introductions are not real (except mine) – they’re all made up to protect the privacy of my actors. Here are some examples of people saying who they are:

Good evening. Nice to meet you. My name is Manuel Silva, and I am a computer engineer with PassosLab Incorporated.


Good morning. My name is Ryunosuke Takada. I’m a 4th year student at this university. I am originally from Osaka, but I’ve been living here in southern Kyushu since I started university.


Hello, everyone. My name is Cathrine-Mette Mork. Everyone calls me Morksensei, so you can call me that, too. I’m an EFL/ESL instructor originally from Montreal, Canada. I’ve been teaching English already for over 30 years now, here in Japan since 1995.


Hi there. I’m Tom Brown. As you can probably tell from my accent, I’m from England – Middlesbrough, specifically. But now I work predominantly in the greater London area.

2) Give some background or context.

The second part of your 60-second introduction is to give one or more details about yourself – some background for context. This could be about something that you specialize in, something you’re been working on, maybe why you decided to study what you are studying, or perhaps a back story explaining why you do what you do now.

When I was a little boy, I really loved putting things together, making things, and tinkering with things. For me it was always so boring to just sit in a classroom and not be able to make anything. I was most at home when I built or designed things, and that’s what led me to becoming a computer engineer.


In my free time I enjoy cycling. I cycle every chance I can get, especially into the mountains and down the coast. My road bike is actually the most expensive thing I own, and I love it. So, please don’t touch it.


I’m a lover of languages. I’ve studied about seven languages at various times in my life so far. I also love to travel, and have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to over 50 countries. So, as you might imagine, I’ve had to introduce myself in many different types of situations.


I’ve only been here in Tokyo since last night, and I’m feeling a little bit JET-lagged, but I think I’ll be alright by tomorrow. So, over the past four years I’ve been working with many refugees in the UK.

3) Why are you here?

In the third part of your introduction is to tell people why you are here or what your goal is. If you’re just about to give a presentation, explain why you are giving it. If you’re taking an English lesson or class now, why? If you’re trying to be persuasive or sell something, try to get your listener excited about what they are going to hear from you. You may also want to end with a closing if you’re not going to to immediately continue speaking as well.

Today I want to talk about something that is going to be really interesting to give you a better perspective on what we do as computer engineers. It might even spark some interest and curiosity in becoming a computer engineer, or at least knowing more about the field. So, let’s get started.


My future goal is to get a position after I graduate with a specific foreign company based in Kyoto, but I need to get and IELTSs score of 8 to secure a chance there, so that is why I am currently taking this course with all of you. I look forward to working hard with you so that we can all improve our English skills together.


In today’s presentation, then, I’m going to explain how to make a short one-minute presentation (self-introduction) in English. What you say might be different each time, but you should be able to apply the three steps I explain to any situation.


At 2 pm tomorrow, I’ll be presenting an exploration of the concept of forgiveness among female war victims. This may be of interest to those of you who are looking at the use of therapeutic forgiveness. I’m looking forward to sharing my research with you and to talking with as many of you as possible over the three days of this conference. I’m really looking forward to attending all of your presentations as well. Thank you.

If you talk at the same pace as a native English speaker, you’ll probably going to need about 150 words to talk for a 60-second introduction. So, if you write out your introduction exactly as you plan to say it, you’ll have a good idea of how long your introduction is. If you have more than 150 words, you’re probably speaking too fast, and it will be hard for people to understand or remember what you say. If you have less than 150 words, no problem. Of course if you’re not speaking in your first language, this is completely normal and completely acceptable to have about 100 words might be enough. Remember, when it comes to any type of presentation, most people will not complain if what you say is too short, but might complain if your speech or presentation is too long.

So here are final examples of our complete example presentations, each of which is around one minute long – more or less.

Good evening. Nice to meet you. My name is Manuel Silva, and I’m a computer engineer with PassosLab Incorporated. When I was a little boy, I really loved putting things together, making things, and tinkering with things. For me it was always so boring to just sit in a classroom and not be able to make anything. I was most at home when I built or designed things, and that’s what led me to becoming a computer engineer. Today I want to talk about something that is going to be really interesting. I think it will give you a better perspective on what we do as computer engineers. It might even spark some interest and curiosity in you to become a computer engineer. At the very least, you’ll know more about the field. So, let’s get started.


Good morning. My name is Ryunosuke Takada. I’m a fourth-year student at this university. I’m originally from Osaka, but I’ve been living here in southern Kyushu since I started university. In my free time I enjoy cycling. I cycle every chance I can get, especially into the mountains and down the coast. My road bike is actually the most expensive thing I own, and I love it. So, please don’t touch it. My future goal is to get a position after I graduate with a specific foreign company based in Kyoto, but I need to get and IELTS score of 8 to secure a chance there, so that is why I am currently taking this course with all of you. I look forward to working hard with you so that we can all improve our English skills together.


Hello, everyone, my name is Cathrine-Mette Mork. Everyone calls me Morksensei, so you can call me that, too. I am an EFL/ESL instructor originally from Montreal, Canada. I’ve been teaching English for already over 30 years now, here in Japan since 1995. I’m a lover of languages. I’ve studied about seven languages at various times in my life so far. I also love to travel, and have been blessed to with the opportunity to travel to over 50 countries. So, as you might imagine, I’ve had to introduce myself in many different types of situations. In today’s presentation, then, I’m going to explain how to make a short, one-minute presentation (self-introduction) in English. What you say might be different each time, but you should be able to apply the three steps I explain to any situation.


Hi there. I’m Tom Brown. As you can probably tell from my accent, I’m from England – Middlesbrough, specifically. But now I work predominantly in the greater London area. I’ve only been here in Tokyo since last night, and I’m feeling a little bit JET-lagged, but I think I’ll be alright by tomorrow. So, over the past four years I’ve been working with many refugees in the UK. At 2 pm tomorrow, I’ll be presenting an exploration of the concept of forgiveness among female war victims. This may be of interest to those of you who are looking at the use of therapeutic forgiveness. I’m looking forward to sharing my research with you and to talking with as many of you as possible over the three days of this conference. I’m really looking forward to attending all of your presentations as well. Thank you.

So hopefully you saw with those examples that even though they were very short, they each contained three parts: 1) who they were 2) some sort of background and 3) their “why” or their goal. Hopefully all this information is helpful to you. Good luck with your next self-introduction in English, regardless of what it’s for.

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