How to introduce yourself in a better way
We have been taught since childhood not to judge a book by its cover. However, reality can often be disappointing, as a Harvard study suggests that it requires a series of eight subsequent positive interactions to alter the negative impression formed by a botched first introduction. Thus, it is needless to say that the ability to introduce yourself in a better way is a crucial skill that may forge new relationships, open doors to new opportunities, and leave a strong first impression.
In this guide, we will provide you with pragmatic advice and recommendations that can enhance your self-introduction, make you appear confident and help you navigate social and professional spaces with ease.
Mind Your Body Language
According to a study in psychology, it may take as little as 33 milliseconds to form a first impression. So chances are, people will develop preconceived notions about you before you even speak. As such notions are usually constructed from your posture, following a few tips about your body language can work like a charm.
Wear clothes that are clean, ironed and appropriate for the occasion. Try to keep your back straight in both standing and sitting positions. Always remember to smile, maintain eye contact and talk in a clear and gentle voice.
Prepare Your Speech
The first step to a successful introduction is a well-constructed and pre-planned speech that leaves no room for confusion. The speech should start in the present, link the present with your past and then express ideas for the future. For example, as a self-introduction in a job interview, your name and a brief description of your contemporary occupation can be a promising start.
Depending on the situation and audience, you may elaborate further (responsibilities, latest projects etc.). It is recommended that you continue this conversation, referring to your past, with the goal of painting your background and achieving credibility. Consider mentioning your education, training, previous employment and other accomplishments in this part. The final part of the introductory speech should reveal your enthusiasm, understanding and future plans for the post you are applying for.
Keep It Short and Precise
Avoid lengthy descriptions, explanations or irrelevant details at any cost. To maintain the interest of the audience, keep the introduction brief and to the point. A short but precise introduction that highlights your special abilities and uniqueness is also much more memorable and impactful than a lengthy one. Particularly in professional settings, such an approach also emphasises your professionalism, effective communication and time management skills.
Tailor Your Introduction
Though you can apply the Present-Past-Future framework mentioned earlier in any social or professional context, it is highly recommended to adapt your introductory speech according to the audience. To deliver a better introduction of yourself, take note of the environment, nature of the event, level of formality and purpose of the introduction.
For example, an introduction at a job interview should contain your educational background, relevant skills and accomplishments. An introduction at a social meeting, on the other hand, should contain personal interests that may help you discover shared passions among fellow individuals, leading to better socialisation.
Listen to Your Audience
Introductions are not always about your posture or speech, they're about careful listening too. Pay attention to your audiences and try to comprehend the impact you are having on them. In order to build a solid foundation for a fruitful relationship, show genuine interest in their responses and provide thoughtful replies. Make sure to demonstrate your attentiveness and try your best to make the audience feel how important they are to you.
End It With a Lead
As you conclude your introduction, the ending should make way for the next part of the interview. This can also be an excellent opportunity to lead the conversation to your preferred path or what you would like to discuss next. Such an ending could be an enchanting statement, a thought-provoking question, a call to action or a simple invitation to contact you in the future. This will help create a sense of appreciation and make the conclusion of your speech much more memorable.
What Not to DO
To deliver an effective and memorable self-introduction, knowing what not to do is also of utmost importance. You should avoid using the same introduction for everyone, even if in a similar setting. In short, do not use the same introduction for your boss and your colleagues. Avoid complaining, making excuses or having a negative attitude. Always remember that not everyone comes from a similar social or cultural context and you should be ready to adapt your approach accordingly. Last but not least, do not keep checking your phone. It's rude.