How to Design A Compelling IntroductionApr 17, 2023
Do you have a concise and intriguing answer when someone asks you “So what do you do?”.
We all face this question throughout our lives at networking events or simply when we’re introduced to someone new and yet so few of us have a compelling answer.
Think about this – the person is inviting you to share something about yourself. You can make your response memorable or forgettable.
Read on to discover how to introduce yourself in an interesting way, whether you're currently employed or between jobs.
In an elevator you generally have less than 30 seconds to communicate, hence the term elevator speech.
Here’s my boring version
“I’m Sue Maitland and I’m a Life Coach”
Here’s my more intriguing version
“Hi, I’m Sue Maitland a Professional Life Coach and I help people make inspired life and career transitions, aligned with their values, the strengths they love to use, what fulfills them and what’s most important to them at this point in their life.”
Which of these introductions is more interesting? Which has you wanting to learn more?
If you’re an employee and your elevator pitch could use some enhancement, here’s a simple format you can use to design your introduction.
- Your Name: "Hi I’m …
- Your Job Title: Remember, you are choosing how you want to introduce yourself and you don’t have to use exactly the same title that your employer has given you. Use a job title that reflects the work you do. e.g. If your company title is project coordinator when in fact you are managing small projects, it’s OK to introduce yourself as a project manager (use the term junior project manager if this feels more comfortable).
- The Difference You Make With The Work You Do: If you’re an employee, your work will be contributing something of value to the company, its’ customers, the community or even the world. Share how your work fits into the bigger picture using terms everyone can understand. Avoid using technical jargon and acronyms e.g. If you’re a Business Analyst you may say something like this “I’m the bridge between the business users and the technical team. I enjoy translating the user’s needs into terms that allow the technical team to configure a system that is easy to use and which also meets the needs of our customers”.
If you’re between jobs and looking for work, try this format
- Your Name: “Hi I’m …"
- An explanation of your current status: “I’m in career transition and I’m looking for new opportunities for either on-site work in (name the city/cities you’d be open to working in) or remote work”
- The type of position you’re looking for: Provide some idea of the types of roles you’d be interested in. You can be specific e.g. “I’m looking for an entry level role as a cyber security analyst” or more general “I’m looking for an opportunity to leverage my attention to detail and understanding of the basics of cyber security in a company that’s expanding their workforce in this area”
This simple format will give you an introduction lasting less than 30 seconds and gives the person you’re connecting with an insight into what you do. Ideally they’ll want to know more about what you do and if you’re at a networking event and they are an experienced and generous networker, they may even say “I must introduce you to…” and just like that, you’ve made another great connection.
If you’re at a structured networking event you may even have the chance to deliver a full 1-minute introduction. I explain how to do that in my Networking for Success Workshop, available through my website.
I hope this has given you the inspiration to develop a unique and interesting elevator pitch. Once you have a pitch that you’re satisfied with, be sure to practice it until it’s something you can share easily and comfortably any time you have the chance to introduce yourself.