Have you ever noticed that there are some colleagues who seem to remember names better than others? Do you covet their secret? Have they bought a DVD on the Home Shopping Network to build their memory skills? Do they picture a boat when they meet Bob and a house when they meet Harry?
For a variety of reasons, some of you are more able to remember names than others. I don’t know the secret, if there really is a secret, or if there is one secret that fits all of us. Colleagues who seem to remember names tend to be attentive and invested in the conversation. They have made a conscious choice that remembering a name is important.
Regardless of how strong your introduction started, your best efforts will be eroded without a strong finish. How you exit an introduction might be the last thing a new colleague remembers about you, so make sure you have a strong finish.
Your strong introduction is comprised of two main activities.
A lot of networking literature refers to a concept called the “30-second commercial.” This commercial is your “30 seconds of fame,” an opportunity to tell new colleagues who you are and what you do. A reminder that the focus of Raise Your Visibility & Value is on employed business professionals. Subsequently, you don’t need to focus a lot of your attention and effort on creating, memorizing, and speaking like a commercial. Skip the commercial and introduce yourself with simplicity and authenticity – your colleagues will appreciate it.
Approaching others or being receptive to the advance of others, great eye contact, and a confident handshake are key components to a strong start. These behaviors illustrate that you are comfortable and skilled at introducing yourself. In real time, your strong start will last from five to seven seconds. Don’t underestimate, however, the difference that a few seconds can make when introducing yourself effectively.
When introducing yourself, do you do so poorly? Perhaps you are inconsistent, inattentive, or under-skilled. Perhaps you don’t value the benefit of a solid introduction. Whatever the reason, your inability to introduce yourself effectively leaves others feeling unimpressed and underwhelmed.
When it comes to introducing yourself to colleagues you don’t know, do you avoid introducing yourself at all costs? Perhaps you are highly uncomfortable or severely under-skilled. Much like getting a flu shot, you want your introduction to be quick and painless. In fact, you wouldn’t introduce yourself to others at all if you could avoid doing so. Do any of the following “Avoider” characteristics seem familiar to you when you think about introducing yourself to others?
As part of my recurring marketing effort, I love to network with prospects, friends, and colleagues. A great colleague of mine, Mimi McGrath, contacted me last week to grab a cup of coffee and catch-up.
Among a number of items, Mimi wanted to share some observations that she had personally experienced related to content she had read in my new book, Raise Your Visibility & Value: Unlock the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job.
Here’s the reality. There is no one best way to introduce yourself to others. The internet is filled with tips and ideas on how to construct a 30-second commercial. Who is to say which one is right for you? Continue reading →
There are millions of ways to introduce yourself and millions of times you will do so. We introduce ourselves so often that we undervalue how important an energetic and uplifting introduction can be. Let’s face it, we have become bored introducing ourselves.
Introducing yourself is the first visibility accelerator as it is the degree to which you introduce yourself to new colleagues and make a great first impression. You will never get a second chance to make a great first impression, and a great first impression starts with an energetic and uplifting introduction!
Here are three tips I have heard recently that you can integrate into your introduction to ensure it is energetic and uplifting:
Linda Rossetti, author of Women & Transition: Reinventing Work and Life, shared at a networking event the idea of labeling. When you are introducing yourself, you want your introduction to be simple and memorable. One way to do this is to think of a word that best describes you in the marketplace. Words like “builder,” or “change manager,” or “architect,” or “developer.” Whatever your word might be, this is a great way for folks to get a fuller sense of who you are and what you can do for their organization.
Larry Stybel, author of Navigating the Waterfall: Your Guide to Job Search and Career Management, shared at a networking event the idea of not being typical. When you are introducing yourself, you want to stand out from your colleagues. One way to do this is to say, “I am not your typical ______ leader and here’s why.” You can insert your functional area (i.e., Human Resources, Marketing, Bio-pharmacy, Legal) and give 1 – 2 examples of how you are different based on your past work history. Whatever your examples are, this is a great way for folks to get a deeper sense of who you are and how you are different.
A final suggestion that I have developed working with colleagues is to describe yourself through the eyes of others. When you are introducing yourself, you want to talk about your strengths, and it is stronger to do so through the eyes of others. One way to do this is to say, “If you ask others how to describe me, you would hear words like ______, and ______, and ______.” This is also a great way to communicate the reputation you want to have in the marketplace. Whatever your strengths are, this is a great way for you to “toot your horn” and do so from the viewpoint of others.