Do you know how to introduce yourself?
Every relationship begins with an introduction. Amazing friendships and life-changing business opportunities lie on the other side of a simple “hello.” But meeting new people can be a challenge, and many of us freeze or flee (let’s hope we don’t fight!) instead of introducing ourselves.
3 Steps to Confidently Introduce Yourself
1. Make Eye Contact. Your body speaks volumes long before you say a word! Remember the basics: stand tall, smile warmly, and make eye contact.
The goal is to put the person you are meeting at ease. Upright and open posture conveys confidence. A warm smile says that you are friendly and can trigger a smile in return. Good eye contact shows that you are interested.
2. Introduce Yourself. In a clear voice say, “Hello, I am _____(first name [pause] last name).” Extend a firm handshake.
Consider your greeting. Do you say “Hey,” “Hi,” or “Hello?” Consider your environment and what you are trying to project. Use a clear, loud voice and speak slowly! Since we know our own names, we often mumble and say our names too fast. Seal the introduction with a firm handshake.
3. Share. Share information that helps people connect with you. The goal is to create common ground.
The easiest way to launch a conversation with someone new is to find a point of shared interest. What you choose to share depends on where you are and who you are talking to. For example:
- At an event for my child’s school: “I am Jessica’s mom. We have been at Hillcrest School for three years.”
- At a networking event: “I teach social skills to help people be remembered for all the right reasons. I love studying how people connect.”
- At a party: “Hannah (the host) and I take spin classes together.”
A confident introduction takes practice. When you are tempted to avoid someone you don’t know, step up and introduce yourself. You might turn a stranger into a valued friend.