Three Examples of Ice-Breaker Speeches

“Tell me about yourself?”

How do you respond to this most simple of questions?

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This is the question that starts many friendships, job interviews, professional relationships and team experiences. However, in many cases… the way that we answer ruins the possibility of creating something great.  How do you answer this question?

Andrew Dlugan provides an excellent overview of the Ice Breaker speech at his blog Six Minutes.  I recommend that you start by reading that post.

Always be Prepared

This is a good speech to practice 
Introduce yourself: you are an absolute authority on this topic, no research will be needed.
Conquer fear: get started on preparing a speech that you will give hundreds of times over the course of a life; when you meet someone new, when you move to a new team at work, when you start a new training course.

Here are a 3 simple examples of how to introduce yourself:

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Structure: “How did I get here?”

Patrick from US Toastmasters

Would you like to meet Patrick?  How did his story engage you?  Are you interested in finding out more?  How could you use Patrick’s structure to explain who you are?
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Structure 4 phases of my life:

Esha from Indian Toastmasters

Would you like to meet Esha?  How did her story engage you?  Are you interested in finding out more?  How could you use Esha’s structure to explain who you are?

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Structure: My life as Fiction

Charles from USA Toastmasters

Would you like to meet Charles?  How did his story engage you?  Are you interested in finding out more?  How could you use Tom’s structure to explain who you are?  (PS Charles has given over 4,000 speeches and is a professional speaker)

Are there any other good examples?  Please let me know.

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Another way to improve your confidence is regular practice.  I have been developing an online module of my Persuasive Communications seminar.  It is available here: Improve My Speaking. Feel free to share this resource with friends (and people who need it).

P.S. If you liked this post you might also like The greatest coaching question of all time and The top 5 Commencement Speeches.

34 Comments

  1. it will be good to have an ice breaker at the beginning of ur speech so that people can pay attention…n have ur message go through their mind

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    1. Yep – I think it was Dr Steve Martin that said that gifts are best when they are “unexpected, significant and personal” – I think the same works in speaking – if you share something unexpected, significant and personal it is valued by the audience.

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  2. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t particularly impressed by any of them and I wouldn’t choose any as a role model. First of all. I hardly could understand what they were saying, even though English is not my first language. In addition to that their body languages were quite poor: heads down, hands crossed,low voice, and so on.
    The good thing is that,watching these guys, I realized I am so bad speaker than I imagined.

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  3. Hare Krishna conor,thanks..
    It has been a lerarning shop here!!
    And humans are made for progressive way of life so I would like to meet with better ones!

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  4. Hare Krishna conor,thanks..
    It has been a learning shop here!!
    And humans are made for progressive way of life so I would like meet with better ones!

    Like

  5. All 3 speeches were great considering their first speech in TM. I remember my first speech in TM local club and it went well. But my second and third speech was not so well compared to my Ice Breaker speech. I tend to forget the speech how much I practice. Any ideas/tips how to remember the speech because I should not be using notes during my speech.

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  6. I had seen and come across so many people advises so much on improving communication skills and the style to adopt, but, your advice is really impressive and gives what one needed. Good work and one more die-hard of to your fan’s club. I have been just watching your videos and trying to put in place the advises that you gave, and I can see myself, being a public speaker, I am improving a lot and need more improvements. Thanks for all your valuable tips and great links. You are really an inspiring to many of us.

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  7. Initially i could not engage with either of the three members and i thought i culd do better. So been a smart cookie i put on the webcam and started talking about myself………….and there goes……. I realised i am worse than all of them and needed to improve big time on articulating my thoughts and put across to myself.As long they were in myind, everything was alright but the moment the tongue was geared up nothing made sense.
    Thnks and i have started working on it.

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    1. Brilliant – yep, it is often so much easier to point out flaws in others than it is to deliver the perfect version ourselves – well done on taking the path to mastery of communication rather than the path of mastery of criticism 😉

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  8. Patrick’s speech is interesting and he seemed to have taken all my concentration, by the time i got to toastmaster speech 1 and Tom, kind of lost interest. Cant make up my mind if I would have listenedd to tom or the lady had they been first.

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  9. Patick started off strong, but he lost me somewhere in the middle and I stopped watching. When deciding whether or not someone is interesting, I don’t want a narrative that takes me back and forth too much.

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  10. Tom’s presentation was great. So funny¡¡¡¡¡ it was a good tool to link his life to historical moments and important historical figures. I believe his body language was not so good at the end of the speech(around min 5) as he was balancing a lot, am I right?… Thanks

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