Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Memorable Introductions

September 18, 2012 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute

Make solid eye contact. Give a firm handshake. Smile. Tips not to be forgotten, sure, but what makes your introduction a memorable one? Jeff Haden of Inc.com argues that it is your audience.

“Do you prop up your courage with your introduction? Do you include titles or accomplishments or ‘facts’ when you dont need to? If so, your introduction is all about you, not your audience.”

How do you make the audience your focus? Consider these four tips:

See less as more: Staying brief is always best. Enough is revealed through the natural, unforced flow of a conversation to make a lengthy introduction unnecessary.

Stay in context: For example, If you meet another parent at a soccer game you might say, “Hi, I’m Matt. My daughter is on the green team.” Staying in context with the setting gives your audience something in common to talk about and an immediate level of comfort.

Embrace understatement: Haden writes that, unless you’re in the business setting, your title is irrelevant. Err on the side of humility.

Focus on the other person: Remember that the other person is the only one that matters; the best connections come from listening.

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