Author: Dr. Teresa Evans | Category: Career Development | May 13, 2015
“From Hello to Success: Effective Professional Introductions,” was hosted by the Office of International Services (OIS) and led by Director of the Office of Career Development Dr. Teresa Evans. It provided trainees the opportunity to
learn how to better prepare to introduce themselves and a forum
for trainees to practice what they learned.
The key to
a successful first impression can often be the initial 60 second introduction
that one has.
This introduction is different from the “elevator pitch” that is often
discussed in that it is shorter and much more focused.
types of quick introductions are needed when you attend networking events, such
as a conference, as well as when you are a part of a smaller group setting,
such as a committee meeting.
These quick intros include your NAME, ROLE, DEPARTMENT, and LOCATION.
For A Strong Introduction:
1. PREPARE: Know what you will
say in advance. This requires a bit of thinking because the same things will not
matter to different audiences. How you introduce yourself to a group at a scientific
conference will differ with how you introduce yourself at an industry
2. PRACTICE: A short introduction
might sound easy but often people stumble and fumble. So be sure to practice
out loud, in front of a mirror, and avoid filler words (i.e. um, uh, like).
This is key to convincing the audience that they can be confident in what you
are saying. You can do this by speaking slowly and clearly enough to be heard
and understood. Smiling is also important as it helps you to appear relaxed and
sincere to your audience. It is also very important to make eye contact with
the person or group you are communicating with.
If you don’t have time to look at everyone in the group be sure to pick
a few key people.
4. POSTURE: Stand up straight
with your shoulders back, head up, and weight evenly distributed on both
feet. You must command your space as
this also helps with #3. If you are seated at a conference table for example,
sit up straight and keep your hands on the table and feet firmly on the ground.
5. HAND SHAKE: I use the 2
Mississippi rule, when I shake hands I often say in my mind “1 Mississippi, 2
Mississippi.” This allows me to be sure
to shake for the appropriate length of time.
Additionally, this is a skill that also needs PRACTICE. You want to shake firmly and make eye contact
while smiling. This skill must be honed
with the help of a colleague so find a friend and get to shaking.
6. REMEMBER TO LISTEN and
FOCUS: We can become so fixated on our own introduction
that we forget to listen to our colleagues.
It is essential that you listen to the other person’s introduction and
repeat their name back to them or in your mind. Focus on the person you are
introducing yourself to as this also shows your are confident and sincere.
7. BUSINESS CARDS (Part 1): If you do not have
them, GET THEM! You can purchase
business cards from our university print shop or a multitude of online
sources. They are relatively inexpensive
and to show you how important they truly are the first 3 people who comment on this blog below will get free
business cards purchased by the Office of Career Development! The key to
using cards properly is to give them when you are asked and ask permission to
give them to others.
8. BUSINESS CARDS (Part
Find a routine that works for you. I keep my cards in my right pocket and put
cards from others in my left. You do not want to get caught shuffling through
cards to find one that is your own. Or worse yet give another person’s card out
as your own.
you follow these strategies you will be able to introduce yourself quickly and
with confidence and clarity. Happy
view the slides, click here. To schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss career
planning topics with Dr. Teresa Evans, email her at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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