4 Ways to Make Introducing Yourself Less Stressful
We’ve all been there. You’re participating in a small meeting or maybe a networking event, and the host opens with …
“Before we get started, let’s have everyone take a minute to introduce themselves.”
NOOOOOOO! Your brain immediately tunes out what everyone else is saying as it focuses on rehearsing what YOU’RE going to say as they get closer …. and closer … to you. Time seems to both expand and contract. You secretly wish you could become invisible just long enough for them to pass right over you.
Self-introductions are opportunities to start achieving your goals for the meeting, conference, or roundtable. As with any public speaking opportunity, focus on meeting others’ needs rather than on your own performance. Here are four ways to help you handle a self-introduction.
When stressed, many people either unconsciously hold their breath, or take short, shallow breaths. The simple act of breathing is one key to settling your nerves. Specifically, try diaphragmatic (aka belly) breathing to slow your heart rate and calm you down. Developing this technique helps you in any speaking situation, whether it’s a brief introduction or a full presentation. Here’s how to belly-breathe:
- Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
- Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs. Place your other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in and use it to push all the air out.
- Do this 3 to 10 times, taking your time with each breath.
Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise. Practiced regularly, it becomes more natural, and you will be able to relax yourself simply and easily.
As noted above, what most people do in this particular situation is focus on themselves, and how they will come across when it’s Their Turn. Actually listening to others’ introductions helps you, 1. Stop your self-consciousness and halt the clock ticking in your head; and 2. Pick up on information that will help you later in the meeting or event. You can interject information you learned, and create better relationships with others just by paying attention, not tuning out.
Make It Part of Your Presentation
Your presentation doesn’t begin after you introduce yourself; it starts your contribution to the meeting or event. Many people do fine with their actual presentation, especially if they’ve prepared and built it around benefiting their audience, not just showcasing what they know. By thinking of the introduction as part of your presentation, it becomes less awkward, and more of a simple introduction to your contribution to the meeting, which you were prepared for anyway. Think of the introduction as an extra opportunity, not an uncomfortable addition.
Focus on Your Contribution
Finally, remember that you’re there to contribute, nothing more. Your participation in this professional gathering is rarely about you – which may sound cruel – but is actually the best way to view any presentation. If you’re concerned about sounding boastful in an introduction, remember that everything you say should be relevant to the purpose of the meeting. Think about serving the needs of the group, goal or event, not you.
One more idea; before you even walk into a meeting, think about what you might say – keeping in mind the messages above – just in case you are called on to introduce yourself. You may never need it, but if you’re prepared, you’ll feel so much more relaxed, whatever happens.
Doorhangers: An Inexpensive Marketing Tool for Your Business
It’s almost Spring, and time to heat up your marketing efforts. Many businesses see an uptick in sales as the weather improves, and NOW is the time to get in front of potential clients, before they even realize they need you.
Door hangers are a tried-and-true, inexpensive way to market your product or service. You’d be surprised at how many types of businesses can use these simple tools. Basically, any business that comes to a client’s home is a great fit – and there are so many!
In addition to the obvious – lawn care, pool service, house cleaning, home repairs, contractors, appliance repair, mobile car detailing, HVAC, and food delivery – there are many other types of businesses that are looking to reach clients where they live.
Dog walkers, wedding/event planners, computer repair, interior decorators, child care, home health, churches, Realtors … the list is surprisingly long.
We love creating door hangers for clients, and our clients love the results. If you’re already working in a neighborhood, take a few extra minutes and hang door hangers! Many clients tell us they recoup the cost of designing and printing their door hangers with a single job – and that they get at least one job just about every time they leave hangers in a neighborhood.
Door hangers come in several sizes. You can print just the front or both sides. You can even get door hangers with a tear-off coupon or business card! Contact me for additional options and pricing!