I went to a networking event the other day where the meeting leader said, “We?re going to skip doing the 30-second introductions today because mine?s so bad and it doesn?t work that it nauseates me.” I thought to myself, WOW! I?d skip the next networking meeting until I?d worked out a new introduction.
Do you get attention with your introduction? Are you prepared to introduce yourself at your next networking event or for when someone ask, “What do you do?” Consider these tips for developing an attention getting introduction.
1. Start With The First 10 Seconds. What if 10 seconds is all you get? Does your first sentence tell your listener enough so they understand what you do and inspire them to want to know more? Here?s the simple, but effective approach. “I work with [type of clients] who have [these types of problems, issues or challenges].” That?s it. Don?t try to sugar it up or make it real catchy.
2. Avoid the What You Are Approach. “I?m an accountant” or “I?m a marketing consultant” or “I?m a financial planner” or “I?m a growth coach”. You?ve heard them time and again. You?ve probably even done it yourself. The problem is your listener(s) may not understand what the title means or even worse they may fill in an incorrect definition.
3. Avoid the What You Do Approach. “I do small business accounting including sales tax and payroll” or “I provide business owners with mentoring and training in comprehensive strategies to improve bottom line results…” Tends to be boring and doesn?t help the listener(s) understand what they get as a result.
4. Say How You Solved a Problem or Served a Client. Reinforce your first 10 second sentence with a second sentence that shows how you solved a problem or overcame a particular issue or challenge. “I help mid-sized accounting firms plan big conferences on a small budget. I just recently lined up free live entertainment for a firm that hosted 500 people in town last week.”
5. Tell Them Why You Are Unique. What makes you stand out from the crowd? Maybe it?s a unique model or approach for better results, focus on a specific niche, a guarantee, or extras that others don?t provide. There are many ways to define your uniqueness that will help gain attention and make you memorable.
Make your introduction an attention getter. Start with the first 10 seconds. You can always build from there once it starts getting attention. Actually write it down and practice out loud several times until you can just say it naturally.