How you introduce yourself is completely within your control. Prepare in advance and make the perfect introduction every time. Reading time: 2 minutes.
“What’s funny is why we get introductions wrong. We either never get taught how to do it, or we learn this stupid thing called the elevator pitch.” – Clay Hebert Click to Tweet
The purpose of an introduction is to start a conversation, but if someone gives me ‘the pitch,’ I’m immediately put off. A good introduction should engage you, draw you in, and leave you wanting to know more. It’s not a slogan or a sales attempt.
They say that communication is 7% the words you use and 93% non-verbal cues like intonation, body language, tone and manner. We meet new people every day, which means we’re introducing ourselves all the time. An introduction is something that you can and should prepare for in advance because if your nervous or unprepared you not only compromise what you’re saying but how you’re saying it.
Understanding these three common myths about introductions is the first step to crafting your perfect introduction and making a great first impression every time…
Myth #1 – Your introduction should be 100% complete.
One thing that most people tend to believe about introductions is that they should completely encapsulate who we are, what our background is, and what we do. But in fact, the worst thing you can do is try to jam everything into your introduction.
As Clay Hebert warns in this episode of the podcast, “If it’s complete, it won’t be interesting.” Why?
Well for one thing, trying to share your entire origin story in your introduction will likely turn into a long winded explanation that could come across as rambling. And even if it doesn’t, that amount of information all at once is lot for someone to fully process or understand.
There’s a lot to be said for leaving someone wanting more, so give them just enough to pique their interest and you’ll open the door to follow up questions where you can provide more details over the course of a natural conversation.
So when someone asks, ‘So, what do you do?’
Keep it short and sweet… “I help ____________ with ___________.”
Myth #2 – Your Introduction Should be About You
“Even though someone says so what do you do, it shouldn’t be about you. It should be about who you serve, how you help them, and why.” – Clay Hebert Click to Tweet
Research shows that if you direct conversation away from yourself and focus on other people you will make a better overall first impression than if you spend the majority of time talking about yourself.
When someone asks what do you do, they may be genuinely interested, but they’re also on some level wondering is the thing that you do something that can help them or someone they know with whatever they’re focused on at the moment.
When you introduce yourself with “I help __________ with ___________” it immediately takes the attention away from you and make it about who you serve which is a much more interesting and compelling way to say it, and will ultimately make you come across as more likeable.
So who do you serve? Who are your people? Who is your tribe? What do you help them achieve or become and why?
Whatever your answers are is the foundation of your perfect introduction.
Myth #3 – An Introduction should be 100% accurate.
“I’m not telling you lie but what I’m telling you is make it more interesting and intriguing because it is the beginning of a conversation.”
The whole point of crafting a great introduction in advance is to elicit someone’s interest and spark a conversation. When you craft an introduction you want to design it in such a way that it creates some sort of back and forth; begs a follow up question, compels the listener to want to learn more about you, creates intrigue.
So like the first myth, the idea that your introduction should be 100% accurate is also mistaken. That doesn’t mean lie or misrepresent yourself. Never do that. “You want your intro to be confident and intriguing but you also want to phrase it in such a way that they go, well what does that mean?” says Clay.
For instance, when he’s in a room full of entrepreneurs Clay will introduce himself by saying“I help entrepreneurs fund their dreams.” In that context Clay knows two things: they all have dreams and they all want to have them funded. So his short introduction creates instant attraction and leaves them interested and eager to ask him more about it.
“People get caught up in having the perfect one but you can have an infinite number of introductions in your back pocket to use at any given time because we introduce ourselves in lots of different ways and in many different contexts.”
So remember, how you introduce yourself is completely within your control. Prepare in advance and make the perfect introduction every time.
Do you want to learn more about how to craft your perfect introduction? Then don’t miss this episode of Community Made…