Have you ever struggled to introduce yourself to a new team or at business meetings? Lisa B. Marshall, aka The Public Speaker, will show you how to introduce yourself confidently and effectively, while creating a deeper intial connection.
In my experience, from my workshops, my personal training, and my podcasts, the question I hear the most from my clients and listeners is, “How do I introduce myself?” In fact. I recently received this email from a listener.
My name is Irela Pérez. I’m a psychologist, and tomorrow I’ll meet the team of doctors that work in the same medical clinic. I’ll have to introduce myself and offer my services, for example, which kind of patients I’ll be attending. I was wondering if you could give me a few tips. Thanks for the time, I really appreciate your help.
Irela, thanks for your question, and you're right to want to spend extra time thinking about how to introduce yourself to your new colleagues. It seems like a simple task on the surface, but it's easy to get it wrong, which will really make a big impact on your long-term relationships with your new colleagues. In my book Smart Talk, I devote an entire chapter to "Taking the Hell Out of Hello" exactly for this reason!
As a psychologist, you know that we all take shortcuts, and categorizing people is one of them. You may also know that it only takes from one tenth of a second to three minutes for people to decide if they like someone or not, and they spend the rest of the time trying to find support for the conclusion they’ve drawn. So, first impressions are crucial, and I applaud you for giving it thought ahead of time.
When someone says, “Tell us a little bit about yourself,” most of us (including me) freeze. Why? Is it because we’re complicated people and we’re being asked to make ourselves sound simple? Is it because we don’t know exactly what they’re looking for? Or is it because somehow it feels like we’re selling ourselves? It's probably a combination of all of those!
So, here are few steps you can use to overcome some of these feelings when introducing yourself at a meeting or to new colleagues.
#1 – Do Your Research
The first step is to do your research. You probably know some background about the medical clinic you’re going to, and some reasons why you’re a good fit for that place. If the doctors are on staff, you should be able to find out some information about them as well. Armed with this information, you can determine what you might say that will be of interest to them.
#2 - Consider the Culture
It’s important not only to consider the larger culture in the area or country, but also the culture within the clinic. Are you at a place like Johns Hopkins? Emphasize your academic pedigree. Are you at a high-end concierge clinic? Emphasize your celebrity patients. Is this an urban free clinic with little funding or prestige? Then talk about your dedication to the city, the work, or the community that the clinic serves. The idea is that every introduction should first consider the audience.
#3 – Consider What You Have to Offer
Once you’ve done some research and have considered the culture, this part should now be fairly easy. Don’t include information that doesn’t help build your credibility or isn’t of interest to this particular audience. The intro should not be a long list of everything you’ve ever done. Just pick the things about your training, experience, and accomplishments that will interest this group of doctors at this clinic. Having done your research, you’ll know which brief tidbits of information are relevant and would likely generate the most impact and interest. Before every introduction it's also important to think about the single most important thing you think you audience would want to know about you.