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  • Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • It's nice to meet you.

  • Let's talk about it.

  • Hi, I'm Vanessa.

  • I live right around the corner.

  • Oh, no, do you know how to respond to me?

  • Is your heart beating a little fast?

  • "What do I say?"

  • Well, don't worry.

  • In today's lesson, I'm going to be helping you master informal and formal introductions.

  • So whether you need to speak with a neighbor, who you might meet while you're taking a walk,

  • meet with a friend of a friend, meet somebody in the classroom, or with your boss or coworkers

  • and speak in English, you will be gaining the skills and the confidence today to be

  • able to have those introductions smoothly and naturally.

  • To help you with this, I have created a special little gift for you.

  • I made a PDF, which you can download in the description that includes all of the phrases

  • and all of the ideas that I'm going to be talking about today in this lesson.

  • I recommend clicking on that link in the description.

  • It is a free PDF download.

  • You can review the introductions, and then in your next introduction, you'll have no

  • problem.

  • Make sure you check that out.

  • And let's get started with our lesson.

  • Let's get started by talking about informal introductions.

  • Take a look at this situation and then we'll talk about it.

  • Oh, what a cute puppy.

  • He's so fluffy.

  • Hi, I'm Vanessa.

  • I live over on Oak Street.

  • I think I've seen you walking your dog before.

  • Dan: You probably have, we walk here a lot.

  • I'm Dan, and this is Charlie.

  • Well, I've got to get home and get Charlie some water.

  • It was nice meeting you.

  • Vanessa: You, too.

  • See you around.

  • This is what I'd like to call an indirect introduction.

  • Did you see that I didn't start by saying, "Hi, I'm Vanessa."

  • Instead, I chose something else to start my conversation with.

  • We call this an icebreaker.

  • I said, "Oh, what a cute dog."

  • Instead of just saying, "Hi, I'm Vanessa," I wanted a way to make the conversation more

  • comfortable to begin.

  • We can imagine a sheet of ice.

  • It's very hard.

  • It's difficult to break through, especially if you're trying to catch some fish underneath.

  • So what do you need?

  • You need some kind of pick or hammer to break the ice, and then you can reach the fish or

  • whatever you want underneath.

  • We can take this image into conversation and use that term that I just said, an ice breaker.

  • When you are beginning a conversation, we often begin conversations by talking about

  • something that we have in common with the other person.

  • Usually, it's our situation.

  • It might be the dog that I immediately see, maybe it's my child that my neighbor is commenting

  • on, maybe it's the weather.

  • It could be anything, but usually, it's your common area that you have around you.

  • There are some informal introductions that are a little more direct.

  • Let's take a look at this situation where I'm meeting a friend of a friend.

  • If you go to a friend's house for a dinner party, whenever that happens again, and you

  • see someone who you don't know, but you know that you have something in common already

  • because you are at that friend's house.

  • Can you guess what you have in common?

  • That friend.

  • You have one friend in common.

  • So this is a great way to break the ice.

  • You're trying to find something in common with the other person to begin your conversation.

  • Let's take a look at this sample situation.

  • Hi, I'm Vanessa.

  • Dan: Hey, Vanessa.

  • I'm Dan.

  • Vanessa: How did you meet Sarah?

  • Dan: Oh, I've known Sarah for a long time.

  • Sarah's parents and my parents are longtime friends.

  • We practically grew up together.

  • What about you?

  • Vanessa: Oh, we went to college together.

  • Let's take a little break for a second.

  • Sometimes the conversation will flow naturally if you both went to the same college together,

  • or if you find a piece of information that you have in common, maybe you both have dogs,

  • or you both lived in Spain for a while.

  • Okay, great, but maybe the conversation doesn't flow very naturally.

  • That's okay.

  • The great thing that we can do is, like in our first situation, is to talk about the

  • situation that you're in.

  • This is a dinner party, maybe you're eating some delicious food.

  • You can talk about the food.

  • You both have something in common, which is the food and drink that you're sharing.

  • Let's take a look at how that might go.

  • I've never had goat cheese and honey before.

  • This is pretty good.

  • I'm Vanessa, by the way.

  • Dan: Hey, Vanessa.

  • I'm Dan.

  • Yeah, the food is great.

  • Sarah's family owns a restaurant, so they really know good food.

  • Vanessa: Oh, that's interesting.

  • How do you know Sarah's family?

  • Did you notice that last question that I asked?

  • "How do you know Sarah's family?"

  • How could he respond to that?

  • "Well, we met one day when I was walking down the beach and our dogs started to play together,

  • and we just realized that we got along really well."

  • Oh, this is so much information.

  • Great, you can talk about the beach that he went to, the type of dog he has.

  • This opens the conversation to a lot more.

  • These are called open-ended questions.

  • And this is the key to having a great conversation.

  • I know we're just talking about introductions in this video, but if you want a little bonus

  • piece of information, these questions are great ways to continue the conversation.

  • Most of these are W questions, or we could think about them as WH, because our final

  • one has an H, and then a W. Okay, maybe I stretched that a bit, but you can ask, "Who

  • did you go with?"

  • Who, what, where, when, why, how, these questions are great ways to continue the conversation.

  • If you ask closed questions, usually, these are with the word did or do.

  • "Do you like ice cream?"

  • "Do you have a dog?"

  • "Yes."

  • "No."

  • Those are the only answers.

  • This kind of closes the conversation.

  • And it doesn't mean these types of questions are forbidden, you can never ask these questions,

  • but it's a good thing to keep in mind, when you're wanting to continue a conversation,

  • especially in these kind of introductory situations, where maybe you don't know the other person

  • well, you're feeling a little nervous, you're not sure what to say, keeping in mind, these

  • question words can really help you to continue that.

  • I would like to recommend this video that I made up here about how to have a conversation

  • with anyone.

  • We talk a little bit more in depth about continuing the conversation.

  • Today, we're just talking about introductions, but those conversation tips will really help

  • you as well.

  • All right, let's move on to our formal introductions.

  • If you need to use English in a professional situation, which could be in the classroom

  • or in the workplace, let me help you.

  • Let's start with in the classroom.

  • When you're introducing yourself in the classroom, these are much different than the informal

  • one-to-one interactions that we talked about before.

  • When you're speaking with just one person, it's like a conversation.

  • You can continue that more comfortably, but when you are doing a formal introduction,

  • usually, you are standing up or maybe sitting down, but you are speaking to many people.

  • This is much different than one-to-one.

  • It is a one-to-many introduction, and it's kind of one way.

  • You speak, no one asks you questions, and then you're done.

  • You need to have one line that you've prepared in advance.

  • If you're a student, you might say something like this.

  • Dan: All right, we'll go around the room.

  • Everyone, please introduce yourself, say your major, and where you are from.

  • Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa.

  • I'm a biology major.

  • And I'm from the United States.

  • Nice to meet everyone.

  • After these formal introductions, it's quite likely that at some point you will reintroduce

  • yourself in an informal way to other students.

  • When you work together in a one-on-one project, or maybe in a small group project, or you

  • meet in the hallway, you'll probably say, "Oh, yeah, hey, you're Vanessa.

  • I remember you."

  • You have some kind of informal introduction again.

  • It's great, even if you usually interact in formal situations, to practice those informal

  • introductions as well.

  • Let's see what might look like.

  • Dan: Hi, you're Vanessa, right?

  • From the USA?

  • Vanessa: Yeah.

  • Dan: I'm Dan.

  • I'm a biology student, too.

  • It's nice to meet you.

  • Vanessa: Oh, it's nice to meet you too, Dan.

  • I'm glad to meet another biology student.

  • You're from Spain, right?

  • Did you notice, again, that in these formal introductions, we are talking about something

  • that we have in common with the people who are with us.

  • We are all students, so you're telling them about your student life.

  • You could say, "Hi, I'm Vanessa.

  • I'm a biology major.

  • And I have two cats."

  • Okay, you could say something like that, but if you're not asked to give additional information

  • about yourself, you can just stick with what you have in common.

  • You're all students, so tell them what you're studying.

  • This is a very common type of introduction.

  • Let's take a look and see what this might look like in the workplace.

  • When you are first introduced to your boss, this is a very important moment.

  • They say, you don't have a second chance to make a first impression.

  • A first impression is the immediate idea that someone has about you.

  • So the first time you meet someone, they have an idea about you, and you can't undo that.

  • You can't do that first reaction again.

  • You can show them that maybe you're different than their first reaction, but that first

  • reaction is very important, especially in a professional situation.

  • Take a look at this formal introduction with your boss and see kind of the sentence structure

  • and also the formality of it, and then we'll talk about it.

  • Take a look.

  • Hi, I'm Vanessa.

  • I'm the new graphic designer.

  • Dan: Hi, Vanessa.

  • Welcome to the team.

  • We're excited to have you here.

  • I'm Dan.

  • I'm going to be your supervisor, so if you have any questions, let me know.

  • Come with me, let me introduce you to the team.

  • Vanessa: All right, in this situation, you could probably

  • imagine my heart might be pounding.

  • I'm walking into my boss's office and I need to introduce myself for the first time.

  • What did I say?

  • I kept it short and simple.

  • "Hi, I'm Vanessa.

  • I'm going to be the new graphic designer."

  • Short, simple, clear.

  • In America, it's quite common to be direct and forward, to give eye contact, usually,

  • to give a firm handshake in this situation as well.

  • And it's considered very professional.

  • It shows that you are comfortable with your job and with yourself, you are self-confident,

  • or you are competent in your job.

  • When you stand up straight and you look your boss in the eye and you give him a handshake

  • or her a handshake, you are showing, "I was the right pick for this job.

  • Thank you for hiring me.

  • I'm going to do my best."

  • You show that you are confident in your skills.

  • Even if you feel quite nervous inside, that is the appearance that is expected in the

  • workplace.

  • When you are meeting your boss, you can keep it short and simple, but make sure that your

  • posture, your eye contact, your hand, to shake his hand, is very confident, even if inside

  • that might not be true.

  • Great work practicing these introductions.

  • Do you know what the next step is?

  • You need to introduce yourself.

  • And if you want to practice this, I recommend clicking on the link below this video to download

  • the PDF for all of these introductions.

  • I've created a PDF, especially for this lesson, because it is valuable and essential to introduce

  • yourself correctly.

  • Like we said, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

  • Make sure that you practice this.

  • You can download the PDF, review some of these introductions, make an introduction for yourself.

  • You can write it in the comments below this video, and you can write it on that PDF sheet,

  • or you can say it out loud, even better.

  • Practice hearing your own voice, especially if you know in advance that you're going to

  • be going to a dinner party.

  • You might meet a neighbor who speaks English, or you need to go to the classroom and speak

  • in English with your classmates or the workplace.

  • You can prepare in advance for these types of situations.

  • Make sure that you download that PDF.

  • It is free.

  • You can click on it in the description, and I hope that you will enjoy it and feel confident.

  • Well, thank you so much for learning English with me.

  • And I'll see you again next Friday for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel.

  • Bye.

  • The next step is to download my free e-book, 5 Steps to Becoming a Confident English Speaker.

  • You'll learn what you need to do to speak confidently and fluently.

  • Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons.

  • Thanks so much.