Most of us will have experienced the crushing disappointment that comes from not really being remembered. You mumble your name and where you work to the person joining the conversation and they smile politely. All too often in introductions, we tell people our occupation, job title and/or industry area. None of these encourage conversation. Almost all of us don’t want to stumble at the first step and create an awkward beginning, instead, we want to be memorable, impactful and interesting. So how can you achieve that?
1. Prepare a brief ‘elevator pitch’ introduction
2. Prepare more than one introduction
Have a range of introductions to suit the time you have available. One may be less than ten seconds, another around twenty to thirty seconds, or as long as it needs to be
3. Make it memorable, interesting and clear
It must clearly communicate some of your key messages. Avoid the cement approach. Saying “I’m an auditor” with a non-auditor is likely to lead to the following ‘dead weight’ response of “Oh, interesting…” If you give too much technical detail about your role and department you’re in danger of fogging. Conversely, being too vague with “I work in professional services” doesn’t help you either. You’ve missed an opportunity to differentiate
4. Share a benefit
For example, “I’m Yi Ling Zhang from X company and I’m just winding up a project with a client where we’ve saved SNG$500,000 in tax benefits by helping them interpret the new tax changes.”
5. Make it compelling by:
Creating a positive image of you succeeding in an area you want to be known for
Giving an answer that encourages people to want to know more
Delivering your introduction in an upbeat way, that expresses enthusiasm for what you do
When you’ve rehearsed your introduction first, it’s easier to speak confidently about who you are and the value you bring, as well as to focus your attention on others.
6. Ensure your key message is clear
Say it clearly and let them know the benefits they’ll get from it. Increase your clarity by emphasising words, repeating your message or signposting its importance, for example, “I’d like to leave you with…” or “the one thing to remember is…” Using relevant and colourful examples can also help.