The request, “Please introduce yourself,” can seem a daunting task, especially if you’re put on the spot, but we’ve partnered with Buckingham networking organization Bucks Fizz to curate a list of our top tips for mastering the one-minute introduction.
Tip #1: Be yourself.
It’s a cliché as old as time, but it’s tried and true. When you tell your story with authenticity – instead of sharing what you think people want to hear – the audience will respond with genuine interest in the real you. Many professional speech coaches advise using your first and last name when introducing yourself, which not only reiterates your brand, but reminds you to be yourself as your intro continues.
Tip #2: Know your audience.
Before a meeting or a networking event, research your audience so that you can speak directly to the people you’re introducing yourself to. It will make you more confident in knowing and will allow you to tailor your intro to better align with the audience’s interests and needs.
Tip #3: Share why you do what you do.
In getting to know you, your audience is looking for ways that you can help them, so include a simple explanation of the service you provide and why specifically this helps your clientele. A successful business brief for a graphic design firm might include a mission statement as follows: “What we do is redesign logos, brochures and website for a fixed fee, with a particular emphasis on using bright colours and quirky graphics so that the business has a consistent and modern image which looks great, which means that our customers feel proud of the way their business looks, and in turn has increased their own profile and sales numbers” (One Accounting UK).
Tip #4: Keep it concise.
In a more structured setting, trust in the one-minute intro. You’ll have enough time to successfully explain who you are and what you do without losing the audience’s attention. In other settings where there may not be a defined time limit, make up a self-enforced one and practise until you master saying your intro in that time.
Tip #5: End on a memorable line or personal anecdote.
A pithy quote or statement gets the audience talking, while an anecdote can give creditability to your business. If you share an instance, perhaps within the last month, of a particularly challenging task you succeeded in solving, you give credit to your business statement, and if you share a catchy phrase or quotation, you leave the audience with something to think about after your intro has ended.