How to Get Better at Introducing Yourself
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Children readily reply with simple answers: fireman, nurse, doctor, priest, astronaut… To a child what you do is who you are.
But as you reach adolescence, the complexities of life begin to crowd in. You begin to realize:
Being a priest means you can’t be a dad…
Becoming a doctor means you have a LOT of schooling ahead…
Astronauts have to be good at math…
Being a nurse may mean you have to clean up… a lot of gross stuff…
Every adult discovers that as you age, the question evolves and can become more difficult to answer. “What am I now that I am all grown up?”
We can ignore this question, right up until the moment we are asked to introduce ourselves to a small gathering.
We either submit to an overly simplified answer, mumbling “a marketing guy,” “a salesman” “an orthopedic surgeon” “a farmer” knowing it satisfies the question, but feeling like its wrong. Or we pile on the details that describe the many aspects of our lives. By the time we finish we realize that everyone is politely smiling through their confusion or has given up listening entirely and try to not make eye contact.
We all hate to be put into categories.
Categories are confining, they couldn’t possibly describe the multitudes that are me! As soon as I begin to say “I am a BLANK…” I think of all the people that are in that category I either don't measure up too. Or I hope that people don't think I am like the other people in that category!
But the cold truth is that our brains work in categories. Even though I am a special snowflake, if I refuse to let other people categorize me, then I will remain an amorphous blob in their mind. Dismissed and forgotten because I am neither a tool or an obstacle, to help them achiever their goals, I am instead something to be ignored.
The great trick of introductions: You aren’t one category you are the overlap of two.
To circumvent this problem of categories the best thing to do is to think of two categories that you are somewhat comfortable being described as, and let the overlap be the thing that makes you both unique and memorable.
- Aerospace Engineer turned Physical Therapist
- Former Peace Corps Volunteer turned corporate spokesman
- Electrical engineer that raises cattle
- Environmental hippie turned farm agronomist
- The overlap is what tells the story that makes people better able to understand you.
This is a key thing to understand as you are mentally drafting an introduction you will give at a business meeting or networking event. There are a few key mental models that if you learn, you will be able to craft an amazing introduction that will captivate your audience, feel authentic and prompt the right people to come talk with you afterwards.
I've introduced myself thousands of times, in front of 10s of thousands of people. In just over 60 minutes of video instruction, I've taken that experience and created a course where you will learn how to create an introduction that is flexible enough to fit any situation and that you feel confident delivering when the pressure is on.
To learn more or purchase the course, click HERE.