Learning to capture those short attention spans is crucial to success while relationship building in events and groups. We can easily capture someone’s attention with a brief and powerful “self-introduction.”
Have you ever attended an event where the facilitator asks for each person to keep their introduction brief, to around 30-seconds. Then, before long, someone monopolizes four precious minutes of an already tight agenda with “all about me” time at everyone else’s expense. Others will follow suit, thinking that since they had to endure the first lengthy-diatribe it is their due.
I used to think this happened due to insensitive or self-centered personalities who simply couldn’t be bothered to respect other people’s time enough to follow direction. After years of training and coaching others, I now know that most people rave and ramble when they introduce themselves because they simply do not understand how to structure a powerful and succinct self-introduction.
We already know that most people are not good at public speaking and even fewer are good at short-format impromptu speaking, so it is necessary for most of us to take the time to practice keeping it short and sweet. We want to do this because these first short impressions create a lasting legacy. Less is more. Clutter can destroy others’ ability to understand who you are and what you do.
Being succinct shows respect for other’s time, and enables you to establish rapport and move on to asking great questions. We’ve all seen it at events, the person who stands up and grabs the room’s attention with an eloquent and interesting self-introduction. Follow these techniques and that person will be you.
How to craft a 30-second introduction:
1. Give your name and describe the benefit of what you do in a few words. It is much more compelling to say, “Hi my name is Amber, and I help people find their toes,” than to say, “Hi my name is Amber, and I’m a nutritionist.”
2. Share a recent customer success or a key piece of one of your passions in just a sentence. A great example is, “Recently I was able to help a client lose 45 lbs in four months without dieting.” Or, “I love the way it feels to meditate on the open road when I ride my motorcycle.” Keep it short and sweet and original.
3. Share your objectives based on the success or passion you shared. Now that you’ve told how you help others and given an example, it’s time to ask for what you want. Be specific and brief. Your request should be appropriate to where you are with the group. As a new member of an organization, you might be asking to have a conversation. In a group you’ve belonged to for a long time you might look for a specific referral or type of support. For instance, “If you work with women in their 40’s or 50’s I would love to get to know you better.”
4. Close with a powerful statement or tagline. Every major brand has a tagline because these simple memory-jarring phrases help anchor you in the minds of others. When interacting in new groups and introducing yourself to many at one time it is a good idea to use one to leave a dramatic impact. When talking to an individual, ending your introduction with a tagline can sound canned and inauthentic. Instead, use a powerful statement about something you are passionate about. For example, I usually share my passion for helping others get what they want at the end of my introduction because it creates interest and encourages questions.
Create your own 30-second introductions and grab the short attention spans before they pass you by. Take time to practice and to create several introductions to fit the varying situations in your life. You will never be caught with nothing to say again!
Andy Bluestone is a networker and relationship development strategist. He is the author of numerous articles and a new book, "Harnessing the Power of Relationships." As President and CEO of Selective Benefits Group, he has recruited more than 2,300 sales reps and is actively engaged in helping closely held companies reduce costs in their 401(k) plans and create an added value to the participants' experience in their plans.
Selective Benefits Group, Morristown, NJ 07960 o-973.417.6880 c-646.745.6031 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sbgroup.com
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