Optimizing How You Introduce Yourself

Written by Alyssa Gelbard, Founder & President, Point Road Group

How you introduce yourself when meeting others for the first time is critical to the impressions you make on them. You’re much more than a name, title and company. While you don’t want to sell yourself short with a cursory introduction, rambling on with your entire professional life story isn’t beneficial either (and unfortunately, this happens a lot). An effective introduction should not only concisely state who you are, but also include some additional information that sparks interest to move conversation forward.

Nailing an introduction isn’t easy – it takes time to develop, even for the best of networkers. Practice introductions of varying lengths and areas of focus. Have a few key go-to points about your background, what makes you unique and the problems you solve. Say it out loud -- more than just once or twice before a meeting or event. The more comfortable you are with introducing yourself, the less rehearsed you’ll sound, which automatically conveys more confidence. (And then you can focus more on delivery, including positive body language, a firm handshake and regular eye contact.)

When thinking about what to say, consider different audiences. What you emphasize when introducing yourself to fellow senior finance professionals will vary from what you talk about when meeting people at an event for prospective corporate directors. By the same token, how you introduce yourself to a non-finance executive at an industry-specific event will vary from what you say before a meeting with a client team of an audit practice or valuation firm. If you’re well prepared, you’ll be able to tailor your message to the audience.

Remember, you control the narrative when introducing yourself, and how you do so influences the impressions you make when meeting new people. Be thoughtful and strategic in messaging and practice until you’re comfortable and confident. Positive impressions can lead to greater business and professional opportunities.

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