How to Introduce Yourself

Public speaking can be a challenge to many people. If that’s your case, we’ve put together a few tips to help you when introducing yourself in an engagement opportunity.

You can also download these tips.

Key Information about the Patient Voices Network

Understanding PVN and what it’s all about is the first step to plan your speech as a patient partner, so reading this brief overview of the network may be useful:

Who is the Patient Voices Network?
We are patients, families and caregivers working together with health care partners to improve our health care system.

What do we do?
We participate in a variety of activities such as focus groups, educational materials reviews, advisory committees and other projects that are focused on improving communication with the public and increasing the quality of health care.

Where is PVN Located?
We are a virtual network with patient partners in every health region in British Columbia.

When do I participate? 
That all depends on you. What interests do you have? What time do you have to volunteer? Opportunities are sent out to PVN Patient Partners on a weekly basis and we can RSVP our interest. Each opportunity is unique and based on the needs of the health care system.

Why is PVN important?
PVN gives those that use the system the opportunity to provide input into health care services and programs. We know that working together with health care partners leads to better patient-centred health care.

Use a 30-Second Elevator Pitch

Before planning what you’ll say, think of who you are representing. As a PVN member, you’re bringing your own experiences as a patient, family member, or caregiver to health care improvement initiatives. You aren’t expected to represent all patients and all situations.

We want you to express your story in the most meaningful way, and the best way to do so is by using a Message Pyramid to build your 30 Second Elevator Speech.

The purposes of an elevator speech are to:

  • Tell your story in a brief, but powerful way.
  • Identify yourself as informed, credible and a valuable member of the team.
  • Determine what the audience wants (or needs) to know about you and why you are there.

Message pyramid - How to introduce yourself-The “inverted pyramid” is a strategy that journalists use when writing news stories, and it can also help you tell your story to a group of people. The idea is to start from the core information, then important details and, in the end, to add some background information if there’s enough time left.

Plan in advance

After getting up-to-date with the information about PVN and your role as a PVN Member, it’s a good idea to take a couple of minutes to briefly write down how you want to introduce yourself at a focus group. You might want to consider the following points:

Start with the most newsworthy part – This should start with a brief introduction including your name and your association with PVN. Anything that will grab the interest of the group.

Add your and PVN details – Include your experience with PVN, the engagement opportunities you have been involved with, and/or experiences as a patient partner.

Other general info – ie. Why did you want to be a part of this activity?  What do you bring to the table?