It really grinds my gears when people intro speeches with “For those who don’t know me, my name is …”. While seemingly casual or comforting, this phrase is merely noise to the real meat of what you’re saying: who you are. It is distracting, and hints at a lack of confidence.
Let’s do some A/B testing.
“For those who don’t know me, my name is Bruce Wayne and I am the owner of Wayne Enterprises.” Wait, how do I know him? Why don’t I know him? Does he know me? …
“My name is Bruce Wayne and I am the owner of Wayne Enterprises.” His name is Bruce Wayne and he is the owner of Wayne Enterprises.
Furthermore, this intro phrase suggests confidence issues or weak networks. Public figures hardly even introduce themselves at all because they command the stage and safely assume familiarity. While we can’t all have that recognition (or necessarily desire it), we can strive to mimic the certainty and poise of our favorite public speakers.
The same goes for “If you didn’t already know, …”. This phrase is equally distracting as “For those who don’t know me”, but instead of affecting your own perceived confidence, it affects your audience’s. “If you didn’t already know” often comes off condescending and ostracizes those who actually don’t know whatever fact follows.
It’s easy! Just be conscious of the subtle psychological effects certain filler phrases may have on listeners, as well as the actual content of what you’re trying to communicate.