Have you ever been to a business meeting in which all in attendance had to stand and introduce themselves and you heard basically the same thing from each and every individual?
One of the worst things we do as a people is our personal introduction. While the names and the businesses will be different, everyone sounds like everyone else; and, by sounding like everyone else, we don’t actually remember anyone else.
The problem is that in making statements about ourselves, we end up sounding like we are asking questions because the pitch of our voice rises at the end of each sentence.
In reality, you are not asking a question – you are informing your audience that you are most uncomfortable and that you do not know how to introduce yourself properly.
To stand out from the crowd, why not practice your personal intro before giving it? While on my way to a business meeting, I will think about the type of people I will be meeting and plan ahead of time what I intend to say. I want them to remember me. Very often I will open my intro with a question and then proceed to explain who I am and what I do.
If your voice goes up at the end of each sentence, your tone exhibits a sing-song characteristic. That’s what you hear as you go around the room and listen to everyone speaking in sing-song.
There is a very interesting scene in Stephen King’s movie The Langoliers in which a small group of people on an airplane are introducing themselves. What’s remarkable about this scene is that in saying who they are, they sound conversational. Not one of the actors speaks in sing-song. Bottom line? They sound natural.
Many of the people with whom I work have difficulty changing from the sing-song style to one more akin to conversational; therefore, I record them and play it back so that they can hear what is happening.
Then I have them shake my hand (just as if we were meeting on a one-to-one) and introduce themselves to me going through their introductory statements.
1. Practice your personal intro by making statements about yourself in a conversational tone.
2. Try opening your intro with words other than, Hello, my name is.
3. Take your time when you give your introduction and speak distinctly. (If they don’t catch your name, they definitely won’t remember you.)
Next time you are at that networking meeting, business lunch or chamber event, why not stand out from the crowd when you introduce yourself? You will definitely be worth remembering!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels is a voice specialist and president of Voice Dynamic as well as the SelfGrowth Guide for Public Speaking. Holding corporate and 2-day workshops throughout the US and Canada, she launched Voicing It! in April of 2006, the only video training course on voice improvement. You can watch a clips from her DVD on her website and ‘before’ & ‘after’ takes of her clients, at www.voicedynamic.com
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