I’m not quite certain these are new rules but to be sure they are the guidelines that you should follow when you introduce yourself to fellow networkers.
Keep it brief. No really, BRIEF! Create an introduction that sparks attention, communicates what you do, but does not provide so much detail that the other person begin to zone out and think about what they’ll be eating at their next meal. A lengthy introduction causes people to go numb and think about how to escape.
Speak clearly. Mumbling and speaking so softly that people have to strain to hear or understand what you are saying is sure to make people tune out. Your introduction is your moment of fame. Don’t waste it by being inaudible.
Don’t editorialize. You think that you’re great? Awesome. You’ll have much more impact if you are factual and let people draw that exact opinion on their own. If you are hellbent on providing editorial commentary say it like this, “people often tell me that I’ve been able to ____________.” By doing it like this you are serving up a third party testimonial and that’s a far better bet than crowing about how wonderful you are.
Don’t read your introduction from a card or your phone. You’re probably saying to yourself, nobody does that. Let me tell you that they do and it makes people uncomfortable. We’re supposed to know what we do and be able to explain it succinctly and with passion. The key to success is to practice your “elevator pitch” and not ask your fellow networkers to be part of the dress rehearsal.
Make certain to ask questions. Be interested in what the other person does and they just might be interested in you as well! We’ve all been there haven’t we – locked in a “conversation” in which the other person keeps rambling on about their exploits and successes. There’s no time to ask questions nor do they ask any of you. The result is you get out of there as soon as possible and cross them off of your networking list!
Bottom-line: The best introduction is one that captures attention and prompts questions. Congratulate yourself when that happens because you’ve nailed it.