Introductions seem so simple, yet many of us get nervous and stumble after hearing the words, “Can you introduce yourself?” The Public Speaker helps you master the art of effective introductions during a meeting.
Like you, I attend my fair share of meetings. As a consultant, I’m often meeting with people I’ve only laid eyes on for the first time just moments before and, almost always, I’m asked to introduce myself to them.
“Lisa, tell us a little bit about yourself.”
Why is this little question so hard to answer? Perhaps because we are complicated and we’re being asked – usually on the spot – to make ourselves sound simple. Or maybe because there’s an element about it that always makes me feel like I’m supposed to be selling myself.
See also: How to Introduce Yourself Effectively
Meeting introductions are easy to master, though, so today we’re talking about how to do it well.
Tip #1: Communicate Your Contribution
This may sound like an obvious thing to do, but the truth is that I end up in a lot of meetings where introductions sound a little like this one:
“Hi, my name is John Miller and I am the VP of Marketing at Concept Management Northeast, just outside of Boston.”
I’m always left thinking, “That’s nice, John, but I could have gathered all of that information from your business card.” It doesn’t tell me why he’s been asked to help run a leadership conference in Atlanta, the planning of which is the reason for the meeting in the first place. By adding about 20 carefully-prepared extra seconds, John’s introduction could be 20 times more informative and interesting.
“Hi everyone, my name is John Miller. I’ve got 15 years’ worth of experience marketing conferences like this one to vendors, colleges, and HR departments. What I am good at, and the reason why I’m here, is getting the right people, businesses and great ideas in a room together. I’m not good on details; that’s why I work with Tim. I promise that I’ll get people excited about the conference and the gifts and talents of everyone else in this room will take over from there. I’m looking forward to working with all of you.”
With this introduction, I feel like it's very clear what to expect from John.