Create meaningful connections through effective self-introductions: Sam Horn
In this podcast episode, Sam Horn and George Torok discuss effective self-introductions during networking events.
Sam suggests a different approach to the traditional elevator speech, focusing on engaging the listener by asking questions and creating meaningful conversations. She emphasizes the importance of tailoring introductions to different audiences and provides examples of how to do so.
Sam also discusses the power of empathy in communication and shares examples of using relatable stories and numbers to make connections and stand out. The episode concludes with Sam mentioning a master class she will be offering for those interested in effective communication and pivoting their business.
The Importance of Asking Questions [00:03:01]
Sam Horn discusses the importance of asking questions instead of delivering a one-way monologue during self-introductions at networking events.
Engaging in a Meaningful Conversation [00:05:03]
Sam Horn explains how asking follow-up questions and showing genuine interest in the other person's response can lead to a more engaging and meaningful conversation.
Turning Elevator Speeches into Elevator Questions [00:08:18]
Sam Horn shares an example of how to transform an elevator speech into an elevator question, emphasizing the need to make the conversation more real and interactive.
The Elevator Introduction [00:11:49]
Discussion on tailoring self-introductions to different groups and situations, including virtual meetings and networking events.
Writing Copy for Podcast/Webinar [00:13:52]
Exploring how to write engaging copy for virtual presentations by asking relevant questions and creating meaningful dialogue.
Turning the Vague into the Visual [00:18:14]
Using specific examples and visuals to make self-introductions more relatable and clear, increasing engagement and conversation.
The Empathy Telescope [00:24:19]
The power of empathy and how it can mobilize people to take action and make a difference.
Using Individual Stories [00:25:32]
The importance of using individual stories to make a connection with others and inspire them to take action.
Using Numbers for Impact [00:28:27]
How to effectively use numbers to impress decision makers and convey the impact of a project or idea.
The Art of Effective Self-Introductions: A Conversation with Sam Horn and George Torok
In this podcast episode, I had the pleasure of engaging in a thought-provoking conversation with Sam Horn, a renowned communication expert. We delved into the topic of effective self-introductions during networking events, and Sam shared some insightful tips and strategies. Here's a recap of our conversation.
Rethinking the Traditional Elevator Speech
Sam Horn proposes a unique approach to the traditional elevator speech. Instead of merely stating what she does, she suggests engaging the listener by asking questions. This approach shifts the focus from the speaker to the listener, aiming to create a genuine connection and capture their attention.
For instance, when asked about her profession, Sam would respond by asking if the listener knows anyone who wants to write a book. This question prompts the listener to share their experiences or connections, allowing Sam to link her expertise to their interests. By showing genuine curiosity and actively listening, Sam fosters a mutually rewarding conversation.
The Power of the Elevator Question
Sam emphasizes the need to evolve our elevator speeches, as the traditional approach often feels forced and ineffective. She shared an example from a session she conducted at Inc 500, where a CEO struggled to explain her business. Sam suggests transforming the elevator speech into an elevator question, asking something tangible that people can relate to or have experienced.
In this case, the CEO runs medical centers that offer MRIs and cat scans. Instead of stating this directly, Sam advises her to ask if the listener knows anyone who has had an MRI or cat scan. This three-part question increases the likelihood of engagement and opens up the conversation. By using this approach, Sam aims to create a genuine interaction and build relationships with the listener.
Tailoring Self-Introductions to Different Audiences
Sam and I discussed the importance of customizing self-introductions based on the audience. Whether addressing CEOs, teachers, or stay-at-home moms, Sam emphasizes the need to craft the introduction on the spot to increase relatability and engagement.
For instance, in an upcoming meeting of local company leaders, Sam suggests starting with questions that put the audience in the scene of the problem or issue being addressed. The goal is to make the audience say "yes, I've experienced that" or "no, but someone I know has." This approach creates a meaningful dialogue and connection with the audience.
The Empathy Telescope
Sam shared a compelling story about a dog left behind on a tanker and how people worldwide mobilized to save it. He attributed this to the empathy telescope, which allows us to relate to an individual or a dog but not to an idea or an organization. He emphasized the power of collecting client stories and using them to create a hero journey arc that resonates with others.
I agreed with Sam's point, noting that it's challenging for people to relate to the suffering of millions or to abstract numbers. However, when there is one person or one individual with a name that we can relate to, it tugs at our emotions and empathy.
The Power of Numbers in a Pitch
Sam gave an example of using numbers in a pitch to impress decision-makers. He shared a 62-second opening that helped a woman secure millions in funding by highlighting the problem of reused needles in vaccinations and offering a solution.
Master Class in Effective Communication
Sam is offering a master class in January for those who want to learn more about effective communication and standing out from the crowd. This class is for those who want to pivot their business during these challenging times and want to be more effective in their communication.