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How to Introduce Yourself in a Meeting

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.

By
Lisa B. Marshall,
Episode #172

Tip #2: Set Yourself Apart. Be Memorable.

Introductions happen so often that those short attention spans of ours come to bear, even in this shortest of activities; since repetition makes people tune out almost immediately, make your introduction memorable.

How you are memorable depends, of course, on the group. Emphasize what others will get from you. They don’t care so much about the name of your company or even what you do there. They care about what it means to them.

In John’s example above, notice that he didn’t even mention his title or company name. He went right for why he was a valuable member of the group. He also mixed in equal parts humor and humility; a brew that will put the people around him at ease and help them to remember him after the meeting adjourns.

Tip #3: Communicate Culturally

By culture, I mean both local culture - it’s usually perfectly acceptable for a Seattle-based programmer to come to a meeting in jeans, but in Miami it almost never is - and also international culture. As homogenized as the planet has become, we still have some very big differences.

For instance, I often speak about the benefit of adding humor to public speaking. If you are introducing yourself to a group of strangers, I caution you to be careful on this one. Since people begin to form an opinion within a few seconds of meeting you, humor can be risky because it can easily offend. Even if it isn’t offensive, it may fall on deaf ears. Bottom line: if you’re unsure about the group, consider leaving the funny story out.

Thinking internationally applies whether you are sitting in a meeting halfway around the world or in a meeting with folks who traveled halfway around the world to be in the room with you. Know what’s polite and, equally important, what’s considered rude. For example, in Asia business cards carry more importance and are formally exchanged at the beginning of a meeting.

So meeting introductions are fairly easy if you follow three simple rules. Communicate your contribution. Tell everyone clearly why you’re there. Then give them some way to remember you. And finally, be sensitive to cultural nuance.

I’m Lisa B. Marshall, The Public Speaker. I can help you or your organization improve productivity through my workshops, consulting, or keynote speeches. I’m passionate about communication and your success is my business.  How’s that for an intro? Or in this case an outro!  (Yes, there really is something called an outro!

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Creative Commons (CCBY) See-ming Lee / SML Photography / SML Universe Limited

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