Here are a few tips to make the most effective and memorable, yet brief self-introductions: When do you need to make a self-introduction?
- When you meet someone or are seated next to someone and both of you are strangers to each other;
- When you recognise someone, or know of him, but you are a stranger to him;
- When you remember someone you have met briefly, or long ago, but clearly he does not remember you;
- When the person introducing you forgets your name!
- To ensure attention to yourself and to your business;
- To be remembered when you connect at a later point.
- Look for the right time to introduce yourself. If you introduce yourself in a crowd, or when the listener is in a rush to move away, or when loud noises force you to shout, even the best introduction will be lost.
- Keep it brief. One minute or less is enough. If you continue to add information, you may dilute the value of the introduction, and weaken the impact of your first few words as you finally close weakly. Know when and how to stop to give your listener the chance to ask a question, or ask for your business card.
- Determine the impact you want to make. Identify what you need to highlight for which situation, objective and person. Make the introduction relevant to the interest of the audience, and to your objective.
- Do not oversell yourself. You will sound false, and when the truth is out, your integrity will be in doubt. Underselling is as harmful. You will sound unimpressive and not worth anyone’s time.
- Maintain good eye contact to show your interest in the other person. Do not, however, stare unblinkingly!
- Look happy and interested. Introduce yourself with a smile. Let your facial expression show your enthusiasm in the meeting, and pride in what you do. People are attracted to happy, smiling faces.
- Sound alert and involved. Do not sound apologetic, hesitant, or embarrassed. Do not make excuses or offer explanations for what you do not do; rather, talk with enthusiasm and pride about what you do.
- Use the right words: Do not say, “Myself Mr Tom”. `Myself’ is grammatically wrong; one should not give himself the honorific `Mr’, `Mrs’, `Miss’, etc.
- Announce your name very clearly. If a foreigner has difficulty pronouncing an Indian name such as say, `Sidhartha’ or `Jyotsna’, see if you can make it easy for him by shortening the name to `Sid’ or `Jo’.
- Give an interesting twist and focus to your job. Rather than announcing straight off what your occupation or job title is, tell people the benefit of what you do. Instead of `I’m a cross-cultural trainer’, consider, `I help companies understand how to do business successfully with people in different parts of the world’.
- Give an unusual, creative and interesting job title to your work if you are an independent, freelance professional. Instead of `I am an Ayurvaid’, introduce yourself as `I am an Alternative Traditional Healer’. It usually grabs the listener’s attention! `What does that mean?’ To add greater value to what you do, instead of `a’, use `The’. Rather than I am a Legal Tax Saver’, say, `I am The Legal Tax Saver’.
- Use humour in your self-introduction. Though you could prepare a humorous introduction in advance, you must sound spontaneous! If someone has just introduced himself as `I am Smith, a tax lawyer’, you can connect with that in a humorous way, `And I help add wealth to clients so that they need Mr Smith here! Good evening! My name is Aryan Marwah. I am The Wealth Manager.’ Your introduction will be remembered better that Smith’s. Successful use of humour requires observing what is happening around you, what is being discussed, and how other people are introducing themselves. And, of course, courage and self-confidence!
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