You walk into a room and there are a dozen people waiting to hear what you have to say.
There’s a moment of suspense. A brief pause. It feels like Shark Tank… maybe it is.
Here’s an example of a remarkable introduction:
“Hello. I’m Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple. We make beautiful technology that people love to use every day.”
Bam! Simple and outstanding. Yet so many of us stumble when we introduce ourselves. This might because you lack the confidence to tell people who you really are, or you may not have the words to describe yourself and your vision.
That’s ok! This article is meant to show you step by step what to do so you’ll sound just as eloquent as Steve Jobs or your favorite visionary.
Step One: Embrace the law of parsimony.
Parsimony means simplicity. Cut the fat and get to point fast. To sound smart and intelligent, you don’t need to use complicated words or jargon that you don’t understand. If you don’t understand what you’re saying, nobody else will.
Let’s say your introduction sounds like this:
“Hi, I’m Jason and I love ponies, kale salad, jumping into pools during the winter time and my favorite color is purple. The best meal I ever had was…”
Wow. We’ll just end this example right here. Jason needs to get rid of the junk and get to the point.
To embrace the law of parsimony, ask yourself “Why am I here?”
If you’re at a networking event, have a solid introduction that states your name and business.
If you’re at a cocktail party, your introduction may include why you’re at the party and how you know the host.
Now that we know the law of parsimony, let’s improve Jason’s introduction:
“Hi, I’m Jason. My family and I moved here a few months ago and we’re excited to meet new friends.”
See the difference?
State why you’re here, be brief, and keep it simple.
Step Two: Lead with Positive Intentions that Doesn’t Scream “I want…!”
People are turned off when they think you’re trying to get something out of them.
Redirect your mindset and come from a place of serving. Ask yourself, “What can I give in this situation?”
If you’re an actor, don’t walk up to the casting agent and say “Give me the role so I can win an Academy Award.”
You’ll get rejected immediately.
Instead, walk into the audition room with confidence, poise, and positivity. Show the casting directors that you have the talent to do an outstanding job. This will show through your energy and enthusiasm.
Positive intentions are easily contagious and people will want to work with you.
Step Three: Always Be Interested in the People You Meet and Connect With
You never know who you’re going to meet. A stranger sitting next to you on the bus could be a millionaire who’s car broke down so he needed an alternative way to get home.
Don’t assume you know people’s background based on their appearance. Don’t ever judge.
Instead, be insatiably curious. Lean into every opportunity to meet someone new. They may give you a new job, help you land a client or they may introduce you to the love of your life.
When you stay curious, you learn things about people you wouldn’t have ever known before.
Also, always have several questions in your back pocket to ask people. Here are three example:
What inspired you to become a doctor?
What was the best book you read this year?
What gets you out of bed every day?
When you show interest and respect toward other people, they’ll usually reciprocate.
Step Four: Always have a call to action or a method to follow up
This article wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t cover how to end an interaction.
You always need to have several ways to end your introduction or dialogue.
If you’re having a party in the near future, invite the person you’re speaking with to attend.
If you like to text, share your phone number with the person you just met.
If the person you met loves to read, ask for their mailing address and send them a book.
You’ll leave a positive impression if you have a solid call to action or method to follow up with the person you just met.
Your introduction has the power to make or break any social interaction. The more you can prepare your introduction, the more likely you’ll ace any interaction.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, colleagues, and coaches to help you prepare the perfect introduction.
Also, be sure you believe in your introduction. Nothing is worse than hearing someone who doesn’t believe in what they’re saying. Don’t be that person.
When in doubt, stand up straight and have excellent posture. You’ll come off as having incredible confidence and people will love to be around you. Every positive interaction has the capacity to change the world. It all starts with believing in yourself and what you stand for.