Introduce Yourself using this Simple and Powerful Format
Have you struggled with that awkward moment when you’re expected to introduce yourself? It might be at a networking meeting, workshop or conference. It might even be that challenge at a business or personal function when you are asked, “What do you do?”
You probably want to create a positive impression. And you might want to get it done quickly because you don’t like to hog the spotlight. (Or perhaps you love the spotlight yet don’t want to appear overly pompous.)
On the other hand, if you believe that the definition for the word “pompous” should have your photo beside it, this article isn’t for you.
Oh good, you’re still here.
This self-introduction is often called the 30-second message because it’s meant to take up about 30 seconds. I suggest that you create a 30-second and a 90-second version.
What’s the purpose of the self introduction?
You probably want people to listen closely, gain a clear picture of what you do and to remember you. You might want this to encourage a meaningful conversation.
Let’s review the standard approach:
“My name is…”
“My company is…”
What’s wrong with that?
It’s boring and hence ineffective. The structure is backwards. It starts with your name which people aren’t interested in until they have a reason to be interested in you.
Start with a Question
When you open your mouth to speak, you want the first words to engage the listener. How can you do that? By starting with an intriguing question. A question that captures their attention, stimulates their curiosity and paints a picture.
That might seem like a big expectation of one question. It is. That’s why you need to prepare the question and rehearse it, so you can deliver it comfortably when needed.
How can you start this question?
“Did you know…”
Finish the question with a fact, concern, misconception, benefit, problem… that clarifies a significant aspect of your business. You don’t need to describe everything about your business – simply enough to give them a clear understanding and stimulate their interest to learn more.
If that grabbed their attention, they are ready to listen to your name and company name. Finish your introduction by suggesting the next step.
- Talk to me during the break
- Visit our booth on aisle three
- Check the website
- Give me your card
At the conference, each of the sponsors were allowed a short self-introduction during lunch. All of them followed the standard boring format – except one. Here’s what Bob said…
“How do you talk to your kids these days? I never know whether I should message my kids on Facebook, Twitter or SMS. When you’re trying to connect with your clients and prospects you might face a similar dilemma. That’s what we do. We help you leverage the appropriate social media channels to actively engage your audience. I’m Bob from ABC Media. It’s the booth with the orange banner in the first row. Stop by for a friendly chat.”
Notice how the question grabbed attention and related to the audience. It got a good laugh. Then he transitioned to business challenges and what they do. Notice how he made it easy to remember him and find him.
Oh, who am I and what do I do? Glad you asked.
“Did you know that poor presentation creates stress, wastes time and loses money? I help presenters deliver their intended message for greater success. I do that in two ways: individual coaching and group training. When it’s your turn to speak, be sure to deliver a superior presentation because inferior never wins. I’m George Torok of Superior Presentations. Learn more at www.SuperiorPresentations.net or connect on Linkedin.”
Over to you. Who are you and what do you do?