How To Introduce Yourself In 2 Minutes

Self Introduction Sample For Networking

Knowing how to introduce yourself in 2 minutes powerfully and succinctly, is one of your best and cheapest promotional tools. 2 minutes gives you time to explain what you do with a case study, it enables you to build rapport by showing more of yourself and it gives an opportunity to promote a current product, service or special offer. Customised to each audience of course.

We’ve all been at an event and seen how frequently people struggle with explaining who they are and how their work benefits others.  Here’s an example how to do it from a Physiotherapist at a women’s lunch:

Introduce Yourself in 2 Minutes

“Hello everyone – My name is Jo Kikidis. Have you ever had trouble reverse parking because your neck was stiff? Or you had to stay in bed for a few days because your back was so sore? It’s my job to help clients park their car and get out of bed!

“I’m a physiotherapist and I specialise in sore necks, sore backs and sports injuries. I’ve run a small clinic with 4 staff, just down the road for the last 3 years. We work Monday to Saturday.

Recently, one of my clients who runs a small local business, hurt his back lifting something he shouldn’t have. He said he thought about asking for help with lifting but then decided he didn’t have time. So ignoring his intuition he went ahead and did it anyway… and ended up barely able to walk and unable to drive. His wife brought him in to see me – he was on high dosage pain killers. They’d had to employ someone temporarily since he couldn’t work. He came to see me every week for 4 weeks. By week 2 his pain had decreased by 50% and his mobility was also up 50%. I showed him some simple ways to strengthen his core and make his back muscles more stable – he does them every day at home. Yesterday was his last appointment and he’s now pain free and back at work. “Bad Backs” are such a frequent problem for my clients I’ve created a special program just for learning how to look after your back.

What I need at the moment are 3 more clients interested in undertaking a 6 week ‘No More Sore Back Program” I’m running next month. I only have room for 8 people who have a history of back problems. If you or someone you know would benefit from my back care program, please take one of these flyers. I’m Jo Kikidis, your local physio.”

See? It’s easy to introduce yourself in 2 minutes when you know how. Now it’s your turn to create your very own version. Don’t forget to read it out loud and time it, including your pauses. Oh, and don’t forget to pause! Less is more. Keep it light and experiment until it’s juusst right for you and each occasion.

© 2015, Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach. This article or review is the author’s opinion only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Self Introductions: Be Intriguing

Sample Self Introduction For Networking

There are so many ways to introduce yourself at networking events it can be confusing. I am going to offer you one simple sample self introduction. It’s a short and simple script enabling you to effortlessly explain who you are and what you offer at any event, meeting, workshop or party.

Drama Queen 2.5 x 1.5This sample self introduction will stop you waffling and forgetting important facts like your name!

Here are examples I’m fond of because they are creative, fun and effuse credibility:

•    “I help people find their toes. I’m Wendy and I help people lose weight.“
•    “You know how some people look 20 years older than they really are? Well I fix that. I’m an anti-aging specialist and my name is Sai.“
•    “I’m the person that people call when the wheels have come unstuck in their life and they want to do something about it. I help people get back on track with a 12-week program. My name is Lou Phillips and I’m an accredited Counsellor.“

It’s a good idea to have a few scripts up your sleeve to adapt to different networking events and to avoid sounding like a broken record. Once you have internalised the concept, you will start to ad lib and customise to each occasion without having to prepare for it. You will be authentic, off the cuff and relevant every time. Say bye bye to your memorised script.

© 2015, Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Introduce Yourself With A WIFM Not A Wish

How To Speak To A “Closed Group”

Have you ever tried to introduce yourself in a meeting, group or event and as much as you tried to insert yourself into the conversation, you are passed over by the others, as if you don’t exist? It’s hard to maintain self-confidence in an environment where you feel ignored. Actually it’s hard to not feel paranoid!

Unfortunately this is a common experience for many first timers when they attend an established group who often close ranks rather than open and welcome the newbies. Newcomers often feel they have to “force their way in” and “prove themselves”. Sometimes, they just don’t come back.

I’m going to outline how to introduce yourself using a simple WIFM strategy to show you how to break through this social communication barrier. It will enable you to be seen and heard every time you speak.

What’s In It For Me?
The strategy is called “What’s In It For Me?” (WIFM) Whenever we evaluate a product, service, idea or even a relationship, there are three questions running subconsciously through our mind. When you speak, especially if it’s to a group who don’t know you well, within the first two minutes people will be asking themselves:

1.    Who are you? (What qualifies you to talk about this?)
2.    How will I benefit?  (What will I get out of this?)
3.    And what do I have to do, to benefit? (What steps do I need to take?)

You may now be re-evaluating the last time you spoke, whether it was in a small meeting, large group or a networking event. Did you establish the answer to those questions with your listeners? And did you do it right up front so they quickly became engaged and interested?

Whether we browse for a new breakfast cereal, analyse the government Budget or listen to a colleague speak at a meeting, these are the same three critical questions we subconsciously ask ourselves each time.

 

WIFM Sample For A Networking Event

“Hello, I’m Maud and I manufacturing gizmos for reinforced concrete to keep our bridges safe. I’ve implemented 5 projects using gizmos and I’m going to tell you how I did that today.

My purpose is to help you avoid pitfalls in your business expansion and take to advantage of my experience

…and when I’ve finished in 30 minutes time, you’ll know how to do such and such… with your business. Is that something you want for your future?”

 

Play around with the WIFM Strategy sample and substitute your own language. If you use this style to introduce yourself when you speak at meetings and groups, especially when you know your audience may not want to hear what you have to say, you will answer those three critical, unspoken questions and objections running through their minds.

Once you establish credibility, explain the benefit and the steps to get that benefit, the audience will be welcoming, open to hearing what you say and more likely to follow your recommendations. Your influence will grow with your credibility every time.

Contact Geraldine for help with creating the WIFM for your next speech.

(c)2014, Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Shy People And Parties Survival Guide

Cheese Is A Terrific Starting Point

Many people find it difficult to “just be themselves”, especially shy people at parties. Remember that feeling when you first walk through the door, confronted by a sea of unknown faces or backs? Should you stick around or should you run? Parties can bring up fear of being separate or rejected by the group. Similar fears surface when public speaking.

Basically, when self consciousness looms, people shrink with fear and disappear, or pump themselves up with a flashy veneer.

At parties, it’s frequently a case of one human shield meeting another human shield – no wonder it’s difficult to connect meaningfully with the room awash with air kisses.

Trust & Rapport
Recently I attended a women’s’ “drinks & nibbles”. (Yes, the dreaded “After Hours Networking” – see the related article “Un-Networking For Shy People”.)

The guest speaker was a funeral director and she explained the process of building trust and rapport with someone you’ve never met before. Her process can also be applied to creating heart to heart connections at a party.

Level 1:  Surface chitchat about the party…Head nodding acknowledgement.
Level 2:  Basic information exchange…Name, connection to host.
Level 3:  Offering of safe opinions… Scanning for similarities.  Longer eye contact.
Level 4:  Exchange of appropriate personal thoughts…Standing closer, feeling safer.
Level 5:  Opening up & sharing honest feelings…Authentic Connection.

If your party experience traditionally stays between Levels 1 and 3, then you miss the opportunity to “show yourself” and so does the other person. Self consciousness keeps you in its’ grip and it’s purpose is to keep you feeling safe. Whether you need it or not.

And hey hey hey! If you get to Level 5, you can consider yourself someone who just got comfortable with being themselves at a party, or at least, with one new person. Shy people and parties, who would have thought?

Dropping The Mask
Most of us hide behind a façade at some point. We do this because we don’t feel safe enough to be ourselves. We fear judgement, rejection or loss. Parties and public speaking can trigger a lot of fear! Here’s a quote from a client of mine who sums it up:

“  I can see now that speakers who rely on putting up a mask, rob their audience of the authentic experience of being with them. “ Elise Wynyard, Art Therapist

And so it is at parties. When you wear a mask, you rob people meeting the real you. I am not recommending you drop your guard and expose yourself to the whole wide world this afternoon.

I am recommending you try this technique next time you feel uncomfortable at a party, or when public speaking:

•    Take a slow, deep breath and feel your feet on the floor.
•    Take all the time you need to slow down, make soft eye contact.
•    If you feel like it, introduce yourself to someone who willingly offers eye contact.
•    Pause, smile, and allow space for words to arise naturally. And they will.
•    If someone appears impatient and moves on because you didn’t enthral them within thirty seconds, let them go; you were never going to feel safe enough to open up and connect with this person anyway.

After The Party, Ask Yourself:
•    Is it more satisfying to have connected authentically with one real person, or
•    Is it more satisfying to have ten superficial conversations about the cheese?

It is not my intention to deride conversations about cheese. Cheese is a terrific starting point. The key is to find that starting point, a place of connection with another person. One real person, meets another real person and hey presto, you can be yourself, even as one of the shy people at parties.

© 2013, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Un-Networking For Shy People

Un-Networking

Un-Networking is brilliant for shy people. It is the art of being genuinely interested in meeting new people with no expectations of selling them something.

I developed an early horror of cheese and chardonnay networking events, filled with drunken blokes with no home to go to, but a hellava lot of business cards to press sweatily into any willing palm.

Needless to say, I missed opportunities to expand and avoided “After Hours Networking” for years, until I created the concept of “un-networking”.

Step 1: Identify possible valuable benefits to attending the After Hours Event.
Yes, Possible Benefits:                                                                                
•    I need new clients and new ideas.
•    I could learn something from the speaker.
•    The cheese chunks are more nutritious than anything I’ve got at home.  

No Perceivable Benefits:
•    So don’t go.

Step 2: If “YES, Possible Benefits”
Proceed with an open heart to the After Hours Event. Be aware of the Possible Benefit to you and then let go of the expectation that you will receive it. Yes, I know, that’s the tricky bit. But if it were easy, we’d all be sitting on top of a fluffy cloud with lots of dark chocolate.

Step 3: How To Let Go Of Expectations Script
(Say to yourself) “… My purpose in attending this event is because I need…(fill in the Benefit you are after.) However, the outcome, whatever it may be, is beyond my control. So I’m just going to show up, be myself and see what happens. And I can choose to leave whenever I want.”

Step 4: How To Be Yourself
Trickier than it sounds for our self-conscious, time-poor western society. This is an affliction affecting up to 50% of the population. Read the related article: “The Shy Person’s Guide To Party Survival”.

Step 5: Your Arrival
Take a deep breath, ground yourself and look around. Where is there movement and energy? Where are the awkward places? And most importantly, where is the food? Walk determinedly in your chosen direction. Frequently the best place for meaningful connection with new people is in the kitchen or by the carrot sticks.

Step 6: The Business Card Swapping Ceremony – Do’s & Don’ts
Do try either of these:
1.    Upon initial introduction, immediately offer your card. Politely ask if you may receive one of theirs in return. The beauty of this ceremony is that it immediately generates conversation – “Oh that‘s an interesting business logo, what’s the story behind it?” and so on. It also means you won’t forget peoples’ names thirty seconds after they’ve just told you.

2.    If after chatting for a while, you decide that this is a person you’d like to get to know, as a buyer, seller or friend, either offer one of your cards or ask if you can have one of their cards. Generally, if you accept someone’s card, I believe it is good manners to offer one of your own. This creates a balance of mutual giving and receiving.

Do not try either of these:
1.    Simply “plonk” your card in front of people to whom you are not currently conversing and then buzz off, distributing them like poison pollen.

2.    Accept a card and immediately stuff it in your bag without looking at it. The Japanese believe the card personally represents you and as such, should be treated with the appearance of respect. Many of us feel the same way.

Step 7: Make New Friends, Connections And Business:
After all that effort to attend the After Hours Event, cocktail party, business breakfast or general smoozing, you might as well take it all the way. Write where and when you met the person on their card. If you enjoyed talking and made an offer, such as sending them some information, then phone or email them within 24 hours or so.

Frequently, your thoughtful and genuine follow up email or phone call makes Un-Networking very worthwhile. You just never know what interesting opportunities, ideas and people are out there.

But if you never go, you’ll never know.

© 2013, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

How To Speak & Be Heard In Noisy Cafes

When we stand up and speak in front of others, we want to be seen, heard and remembered. Otherwise, what is the point of public speaking?

While you can control yourself, you can’t control much else. If you find yourself in difficult speaking environments like noisy cafes, how can you keep the attention of your audience, when:

•    Crash goes the coffee machine;
•    Waitresses pass back and forth;
•    People seem more interested in their bacon than you;
•    Listeners are scattered over lots of tables and want to chat;
•    You feel overwhelmed by noise and can’t remember a single sensible word.

For many people, the impact of multiple distractions in a noisy café brings up fears of having to work really hard to attract and maintain the attention of your audience. Because if you can’t keep their attention, what might that say about you?

Fears can trigger old beliefs to surface. Many people adopt one of these tactics when feeling under pressure:

•    Speak really fast to keep everyone’s attention – this is OK at first, but it becomes tiring for listeners and the speaker due to lack of space to think ideas through and connect with each other.

•    Perform, entertain, be larger than life to make more noise than the coffee machine – this becomes trying and inauthentic, loosing credibility for you and your service.

•    Doggedly follow your memorised or written script – when you ignore natural laughter or events like a glass breaking loudly – it reveals you are not genuinely present with your audience and they are in fact, immaterial. This destroys trust and rapport.

•    Your voice, eyes and spirit just fade away as you assume you can’t possibly hold anyone’s attention because you have nothing of value to offer – audiences may cringe and your esteem and self-belief plummet further.

The simple way to attract and maintain an audience’s attention in noisy cafes is to be fully present each and every time you speak. An audience can tell immediately if a speaker is emotionally as well as physically present and will listen, accordingly.

In a nutshell, the key is to connect personally with your audience as individuals and engage their interest with a topic and information that is genuinely relevant and useful to them. Following is a list of steps to remind you how to be seen, heard and remembered every time you speak in a difficult places like noisy cafes:

•    Give yourself time to prepare in advance to be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually present.
•    Arrive early, familiarise yourself with the room and meet people personally.
•    Take a slow deep breath before speaking and make eye contact.
•    Speak as though you are having a one on one conversation, pausing naturally, allowing your words to flow, giving your audience space and time to absorb your words. It also allows you to listen to your audience.
•    Manage your emotions by choosing to connect only with audience members who are already offering you their eyes and attention. Do not be distracted by anyone who appears to not be listening to you.
•    Interact with your audience by asking questions, request raising of hands, brief feedback, invite participation through exercises. Make it physical – if you have a product, show it or demonstrate a special technique – this also allows you to “speak less, and say more” via action rather than words.
•    Tell your audience you want them to do something at the start of your talk as this engages interest and creates a “giving and receiving” loop.
•    Give the audience something truly useful, relevant and memorable to take away, like an article, product sample or your business card.

Take a moment now to visualise yourself speaking in noisy cafes. Imagine yourself systematically working your way through each of those 8 steps directly above. What would you be doing, saying, feeling, differently to last time? And if your visualisation makes it clear you need more concrete help, contact Goddess Of Public Speaking for some divine intervention!

© 2013, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Speak About What Makes You, Different

Name Your Point Of Difference At Networking Events

Picture this: you are at a networking event. Perhaps it’s a lunch, a book launch or a conference. Amongst others, there are 4 naturopaths, 2 real estate agents and 3 life coaches. You need their services, but how do you choose and what’s the difference between them?

And that’s the crucial question.

In today’s market, there are an overwhelming variety of services and products from which to choose. Creating a unique Point Of Difference (POD) is a strategic way to make your product or service stand out and be noticed.

Generally, people choose their service and product providers based on:

  • Whether they instantly like and trust you, more so than the others.
  • If they immediately understand what you offer and it’s what they need.
  • If they have a recommendation from a friend, so the process of trust has begun.
  • Regularly seeing and hearing you and your marketing so that it feels “familiar”.

To help potential clients recognise your Point Of Difference, build these 4 pathways:

  1. Learn public speaking techniques to build authentic trust, rapport and presence.
  2. Be able to clearly articulate in 30 seconds your Point Of Difference.
  3. Build cross-referrals with related practitioners and make sure existing clients understand all that you do. Don’t forget the most obvious: ask good clients for referrals.
  4. Create a consistent marketing message in a variety of media and share value added information to educate and inform. This builds your credibility and brand so that you become known as the familiar subject expert.

Finally, ask yourself:
Would you choose you?

If your answer is “no” and you don’t have these four pathways clearly laid out, take the time to work out your unique Point Of Difference. If you don’t know what makes you stand out from your competitors, then neither will your clients and they may choose someone else.

Find your authentic voice and message and you will have created your unique Point Of Difference.

© 2009-2011, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

How To Create A Compelling 30 Second Self Introduction

Be Short And Sweet

We live in a society with advert-length attention spans. You can grab that attention by creating a short personal ad also known as a 30 second self introduction. 

One of my bugbears occurs at functions when the harassed facilitator pleads: “Now we’ve got a lot to cover today, so please give a brief 30 second self introduction.”  Before long, someone grabs 4 minutes of “Me Me Time” at everyone’s expense.  A new trend begins of 4, 5, 6 minute mind numbing self-introductions.

I used to think such people were insensitive, selfish and can’t follow direction.  As a veteran function-attender, I’ve gleaned the true reasons for self introducers who rave and ramble. And that’s because they:

  • don’t know how to structure a succinct self introduction.
  • simply are so nervous about speaking, they blank out and ramble.
  • are totally unprepared and have no idea what they are doing there.
  • really are insensitive, selfish and can’t follow direction!

Key Benefits Of A 30 Second Self Introduction

  • Good First Impression – more work upfront means less work long term.
  • Less Is More – keep your words clutter-free will make you easier to understand.
  • Being Succinct – shows respect for other people’s time and this is always appreciated.

Most people want to get a sense of who you are and what you can do for them, before they want to know your name.  And if they are interested in what you offer, they are likely remember your name.  So think about Them first, not You, when you give a 30 second self introduction.

Introduce Yourself With Ease and Grace To

  • Quickly establish rapport and open a connection.
  • Give an ‘elevator” speech and create an opportunity.
  • Make a powerful impression that gets you noticed.

It’s a good idea to have a few self-intro’s up your sleeve, because you don’t want to sound like a broken record and because everybody, every situation and everyday is different. Here’s what to include in your little personal ad plus my examples:

1. Describe the benefit of what you do for others (not your title or process.)
2. Use visual, graphic examples to which people can easily relate.
3. Give your name.

Examples: Be Intriguing, Not Boring

  • ” I help people find their toes. I’m Wendy and I help people lose weight. “
  • ” You know how some people look 20 years older than they really are? Well I fix that.  I’m an anti-aging specialist and my name is Sammi. “
  • ” I’m the person that people call when the wheels have come unstuck in their life and they want to do something about it. I help people get back on track with a 12 week program. My name is Lou and I’m an accredited Counsellor. “

Be intriguing and not boring by creating your very own 30 second self introduction. Don’t forget to practice with a Timer and include smiles and pauses in the 30 second time limit. Grab those short attention spans before they pass you by.

© 2011-18, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au