How to Sell Yourself Any Time You Speak
We’ve all been to events where each person is asked to introduce themselves and tell the other attendees a little bit about themselves and their business. As a business professional, you probably expect this to happen at most – if not every – meeting you attend. Whether you’re speaking to a large group of people, talking informally to a few individuals or just conversing one-on-one, you are selling yourself and your business during these encounters.
Introductions, like these, are not only about sharing information on yourself and your business; they’re also about making a great first impression that can lead to a long-lasting one. After all, the purpose of these introductions is make valuable connections with potential customers and business partners. So you want to make a genuine impact that convinces these people of your value and worth.
Most people will make up their mind about you – good or bad – within the first 30 seconds of meeting them.
However, if you’re one of those people, who become anxious at the thought of even talking to strangers, you’re not alone. Many people find these introductions to be downright uncomfortable and nerve-racking. Below are a few simple steps to help you introduce yourself more effectively, so people sit up and take notice.
- Smile. A genuine smile can break the ice in any situation. It communicates warmth, friendliness and confidence. People will respond more positively to you and want to get to know you better.
- Stand up if you’re in a group. Not only will it focus other people’s attention toward you, they’ll also be able to hear you better. Wait until you’re fully standing before you speak. Face the majority of the group. Don’t speak until you have everyone’s attention. To make sure everyone hears you, you may need to move your head as you’re speaking to address the whole group.
- Maintain positive body language. Stand up straight with good posture to promote self-confidence. Maintain eye contact with the person’s you’re talking with. In a group, try to make eye contact with as many people in the group as you can. This will show your interest in them. When meeting someone one-on-one or people in a small group, offer a firm handshake to show you mean business. But don’t grip their hand too tightly.
- Speak in a positive, upbeat tone. A friendly tone will engage others and show your interest in meeting them. Speak clearly and loud enough for everyone in the group to hear you. Take your time speaking – don’t rush your words.
- Give your elevator speech. An elevator speech is a brief – around one minute – overview about you, your business, and your products or services. You may also want to mention why you’re attending the meeting.
- Don’t ramble. Say you’re elevator speech and stop. Dragging out your introduction can create a negative impression, because it shows a lack of preparation and professionalism. If you’re speaking to someone one-on-one, follow up your elevator speech by asking the other person a question, like “What do you do?” Or, “Have you attended this event before?” Remember: Listening is an important part of any conversation.
- Be yourself. But project enthusiasm and energy. If you speak from the heart and appear sincere and genuine in your actions, you will create a better impression.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
By using these tips at your next business event, you can create the positive impression you want to make about yourself and your business to others. Because once people get to know and like you better, you’re on your way to building their trust toward that future sale or business relationship.
To your success!