Often you will not have the luxury of someone else introducing you at a networking event, so it is important that you are practised in doing it yourself.
What makes this even more imperative is the fact that most of us make assumptions about the people we meet within the very first few seconds of meeting them. What’s more, that first impression is hard to shake or to change.
So, what can we do to ensure that the first impression we give is the one that we want those that we meet to form?
Well, the answer, as with most things in life, is to prepare: to practise.
You need to define your message. However you introduce yourself is what will be accepted by the other person. Will it be with confidence and energy, or just dull? What will make you interesting? Please don’t say’ “I’m a – whatever you are”. It’s just so boring! Make yourself stand out from the crowd: be different from the masses and you will be remembered. Another very important thing is to ask great questions. Once you have passed the opening small-talk (but interesting) stage ask great questions. People love to talk about themselves, so be interested in them; don’t just talk about you.
Then what about your appearance? Do you look as you want to be thought of? Do you look like people in your profession should look? You may not think it is important, but remember those first few seconds. It’s their judgement that counts, not yours, and that will gain you more business. Do you look successful; someone they would want to do business with?
Also remember that a great deal of communication is non-verbal: your mood can be picked up. So imagine that you are on stage. Before you enter any room, be it networking, a sales meeting, whatever, stop and calm yourself, put everything other than what is about to happen from your mind, imagine what you want to be, and then enter the room.
Make your introduction interesting and you will have better conversations. And, better conversations will lead to more opportunities.