Thanks for showing interest in our free IELTS Speaking course. This post is: “Part 2: How to give a good introduction.”
After reading this post, you will know exactly how to use our recommended introduction in your Part 2 presentations or stories.
Any words you don’t know the definition of, use google dictionary, it’s free & all you need to do is ‘double-click’ the words for a definition. Click here.
This post is split up into 3 sections:
1. About Part 2 introductions.
2. The recommended introduction.
3. Tips for using it more effectively. So, let’s begin.
About Part 2 introduction:
So, as you might already know, there are countless ways we can introduce what we will talk about in Part 2. Some of the most common ones are as follows:
“Today I would like to talk about XXX“
“I’m going to talk about XXX today“
“Well, that’s an interesting topic, I’d like to talk about XXX“
You have probably heard these a thousand times and if you’ve watched many Youtube videos on Part 2. Believe me, regardless of how many videos you’ve seen, the examiner will have heard these more times than you can count.
What is wrong with them? You might ask… Well, think about it. Does saying this really show off your ability to use the English language? Are you being creative & speaking situationally? Or, are you just repeating what you think is appropriate?
To be perfectly honest with you, it’s all of the above. Also, repeating what you read in the popular Cambridge IELTS series of books, or what you saw on a Youtube is never recommended, however much you think it will help you.
The chances are if your introduction starts off the same way as most of the other candidates on the day, the examiner won’t be impressed. So, how can you set yourself apart from the other candidates? Well, there are many ways.
A few things that come to mind are:
Be creative and original
Sound like you’re having fun whilst speaking
It’s only natural for people to feel nervous during the IELTS Speaking test, and that is something we all need to deal with in our own way (as most candidate’s futures depend on achieving the score they require). However, this will only affect your performance in a negative way.
You won’t speak as confidently or fluently if you’re worried.
For most candidates, knowing how they will answer helps relieve some of this kind of pressure, and it will also boost their confidence.
Have you ever been extremely nervous whilst talking to someone? Did you express yourself as clearly as you could have?
Even in your first language, I’m sure this has happened at some time or another.
Using our introduction paired with other strategies we recommend for IELTS Speaking Part 2 will help you in more ways than any Youtube video could.
So, let’s not waste any more time talking about the importance of a good introduction, and get on with the good stuff!
Our recommendation for part 2 introduction:
Like with everything in our course, we break things down into 3 parts. Hence, IELTS Speaking 123 (.com)
- Say something general about the topic
- “However,” + “if I had to talk about XXX today, it would have to be”
- Subject (what you will talk about)
Say something general about the topic.
(Half a sentence is enough, or be creative and speak a full sentence)
Make it as relevant to the topic as possible, and also try to mention multiple(s) of the Subject (what the topic is about).
Don’t worry if you don’t mention multiples in this part, because we have a rule for that 🙂
Describe a time you felt bored with others:
“Well, to be perfectly honest with you, I’ve felt bored so many times with others…”
Describe a toy from your childhood that you liked:
“Well, like most kids, I had loads of toys growing up”
Describe a gift you bought for someone that took a long time to choose:
“Buying gifts for people on special occasions or whenever we travel has been a part of my culture for centuries, so I’ve bought countless gifts over the years”
“However,” + “If I had to talk about XXX today, it would have to be“
Let me explain this part further.
We use “However,” as a contrasting discourse marker to contrast the “general” thing we said, to the “specific” we will talk about. (Remember, your use of Discourse Markers is a part of your assessment, so you should use them whenever it’s appropriate, therefore, it is totally appropriate in this situation) (notice my use of “therefore“? Totally appropriate :))
We use a conditional if-clause appropriately, too.
The condition is: you need to describe XXX, the result is whatever you’re going talk about.
Rule 1: If you mention multiples in (1.) then in (2.) XXX = “one” or “one of them”
Rule 2: If you don’t mention multiples in (1.) then in (2.) XXX = the topic/subject
Directly say what you will talk about.
The “premise” of the story or the “subject” of the presentation.
Now let’s look at this introduction in use in 5 examples. (You may have noticed already that in each helpful post on this website regarding Part 2 topics, I use this introduction)
“As you can imagine, most people my age have faced countless tough challenges over the years, however, If I had to talk about one today, it would have to be preparing for IELTS Speaking.”
Note: in written English, this sentence is way too long. The average sentence is around 20 words, however, in spoken English, it’s more difficult to tell for the listener.
“Well, to be perfectly honest with you, there are a fair few places I go to to read and write, however, if I had to talk about one of them today, it would have to be Cong Cafe in Bach Khoa district.”
Note: in this context, I chose to say “one of them” instead of “one” like in the previous example. In the next 3 examples, I’ll try to show you Rule 2. There is a clear difference, and it’s important you fully understand how to use this structure in your introductions.
“Believe it or not, I don’t know anyone personally who does this, however, if I had to talk about a person who often flies, it would have to be Michael Jordan.”
Note: did you notice ‘Rule 2’? XXX = the topic/subject.
“As you can imagine, growing up I had loads of toys as a kid, however, if I had to talk about one today, it would have to be my Son Goku action figure”
Note: you can use this introduction appropriately for EACH TOPIC in Part 2. It does take some time to practice, however, after a few tries, most people can use it effectively. Why not try to practice this with other IELTS 123 users, just register a free account & call some users who are online.
“Well, I guess there are colours are everywhere, right? I’m finding it a bit tricky to come up with a particular place off the top of my head, however, if I had to talk about a colourful place today, it would have to be my mum’s house.“
Note: this introduction shows great confidence & creativity using the English language. Do you know why? Let’s discuss it further in the final part of this post. By the way, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Adding value to your part 2 introduction:
I will now discuss with you how you can add even more value to this introduction.
Your current understanding of this introduction’s value might be related to “grammatical range” & “accuracy”, which is true, however, we can add even MORE value to this introduction.
When you say “however,”
try to stretch the ending sound (“howeverrrr,”) and add some style to the way you say it.
When you say “had to”
try to stress/emphasise it, we often relate “had to” with “needed to”, it’s a requirement, and it has a negative tone to it. No-one likes to do things they need to, right? 🙂
When you say “talk about“
try to link the ending sound with the starting sound. “talk about” -> “talkabout” – we often link words together in spoken English, typically, we link collocations & expressions. *as a rule of thumb, when the sequence of words never changes, we will link the sounds*
For example: For me (fme), do you know (jy’know), off the top of my head (offthe+topov+myhead), to be (tbe).
When you say
“would have to be” – LINK LINK LINK!
for example, “itwouldhavetobe”
Note: focus on your “intonations” when you say “be” – try to raise the pitch of your voice to show you’re aware of the style of your speech. – an extra note for the IPA speakers, use a soft ‘t’ sound when you say “it” – that’s a mix between a ‘t’ and a ‘d’ – but the shape of your mouth would be that of an ‘n’ sound.