What Makes An Effective Introduction?

You’ve heard the term ‘elevator pitch’ but there is a lot more that goes into an effective introduction so that you stand out and are memorable. Each week at our Select Business Team meetings, we allow members to give a brief introduction. Sometimes these introductions can be quite memorable, sometimes these introductions are quite boring.

To keep introductions exciting, we asked our sharp and intelligent members their opinion on effective introductions.  We’ve compiled their ideas here.  When you create your introduction applying these tips, you will keep everyone engaged and help  others understand what you do.

Follow these tips for creating an effective introduction.

Speak In Laymans Terms – When you are talking technical, you lose your listener.  Use terms that everyone can understand instead of using industry lingo.

Share A Story – Talk about a recent client and how you helped them.  Obviously, you need to condense your story to 30 seconds, but when you master that skill, you are bound to be memorable.

Bring Out Your Personality – If your voice is dull and boring, your audience won’t pay attention.  Put some enthusiasm into your introduction and people will stay engaged.

Be Clear About What You Do – Not everyone understand what you do.  Make sure your introduction is descriptive about what you do and how you help your clients.

Make Eye Contact – Look at everyone when you are talking and try to look people directly in the eye.  This allows you to engage with them and you know they are listening.  If you just look at one person, you take the chance of losing others.

Don’t Sell – When you do an introduction, you shouldn’t try to sell someone to buy from you on the spot. People need to get to know you and selling something at a networking event is guaranteed to be a big turnoff for everyone you meet.

Mix It Up – If you are part of an organization where you do an introduction regularly, mix up what you say. Each time you do your introduction talk about something different that you do from sales to customer service and the different products or services that you might offer.  Consider making a list of what you do and prepare a brief description that is clear and concise.  At each meeting, pick one of items as part of your introduction and you’ll have a much greater impact.

Give Your Name Twice – When you first introduce yourself you should say your name and your company. Then after you have talked about what you do and are just about finished with your introduction,  repeat your name and company.  This is a great way to close out your introduction.

Speak Up – I can really relate to this one as people always tell me they can’t hear me even though I feel like I’m yelling! When it comes to introductions, if no none can hear you, it’s almost pointless that you were given time to introduce yourself. Project your voice, even if you feel like you are yelling, so that those on the other side of the room can hear you.

Share Your Location – Mention what areas you work (for example Maryland, Northern VA and DC) or where your office is located. This provides a reference point for those in the audience to zone in on the areas where you can help clients.

Don’t Ramble –  Some people have a wonderful gift of speaking and can deliver a very concise message without much thought.  Unfortunately, that’s not the majority.  Plan, prepare and rehearse to create a concise introduction that is delivered with impact.

When you incorporate these tips for planning your next introduction, you will have more people engaged!


This article was written by Debbie DeChambeau, the founder of Select Business Team, llc.  Ideas were compiled from 20 years of facilitating business development meetings and working with professionals to elevate their presentation skills.