A Smashing Introduction
You want your audience to eat up your story from the moment you open your mouth? Of course you do! The right introduction can make all the difference. Do you sound interesting enough to keep listening to? The goal is to get people to just want to know more, ask more, hear more when you introduce yourself. You’re in luck, I have a solid Intro Template for you.
I always introduce myself the exact same way. It works every time and I never have to think about it. We’ve all been part of a new group where everyone is sitting in a circle and we all have to introduce ourselves. A third of the people sounds unsure of what to say or even what their name is, one third states their name and profession as if it’s something to get out of the way and the last group seems to never want to stop talking.
I designed my introduction in such a way that it gives enough information about me to get people interested but leaves enough room for the others to speak. However, in one-on-one conversations, it very often turns out that people just want to know more about what I do and keep asking questions. My introduction makes them curious and triggers their enthusiasm.
“My name is Bodei Brouwer, owner of The Story Clinic. I am a corporate storyteller, specialised in public speaking. I help you make sure that whenever you’re on stage, the audience is hanging on your every word, absolutely entertained, and will remember your story afterwards.”
This introduction is about 20 seconds long. Any introduction under 30 seconds is perfect to hold your audience’s attention but give them enough to get them intrigued.
Let’s break it down.
Of course, I start by stating my name and company name. That is a given. Then, I give them my title.
“I am a corporate storyteller.”
This title is quite abstract. People seldom know what it means exactly. It does, however, sound intriguing and even fun. You think it’s not possible for your job? Think again.
I recently met an online marketer who calls himself a Funnel Architect. Or how about a Client Magnet? A quick Google search for fun job titles will give you loads of inspiration (and a good laugh).
After my title comes my specialty.
“I am specialised in public speaking.”
This statement has a number of purposes. First of all, it establishes trust. She is specialised in this one particular field, she must know what she’s talking about! Having one specialty makes people feel they can rely on your knowledge, that you can really get them somewhere they need to be. Doing 1.000 different things might be a lot of fun for you, but it won’t likely give the other person the feeling that you excel in any of it. Pick a specialty!
The specialty also puts you in control. Are you an online marketer who is constantly asked to do Google Adwords but you’re actually much more interested in creating Facebook campaigns? Then tell them that is your specialty. They will be much more likely to ask you to handle something you’re specialised in when you mention it specifically.
The last part is the most important part. The value that you bring. This is also the pitfall of most people when introducing themselves: they tell what they do, not what their client gets. As Harvard professor Theodore Levitt said:
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.”
It is not about what you give, it is about what they get. That is why my value statement is:
“I help you make sure that whenever you’re on stage, the audience is hanging on your every word, absolutely entertained, and will remember your story afterwards.”
A good place to start when formulation your value statement is your client’s pain. What frustrates them? What bores them? What tires them out? Give a name to that pain and then cure it.
A lot of my clients’ pain revolves around the fear that their audience doesn’t want to listen, is bored and won’t take anything away from their talk. Many of my clients even have even experienced this. I take away that pain. I give them an audience that is hanging on their every word and remembers their story afterwards.
Find your clients’ pain and offer them the cure for it. That is your value, which is invaluable!
You might have noticed that I state my introduction directed at who-ever is listening. I say “I help YOU make sure…”. This helps my listeners to consider themselves part of my story. We’re both already halfway there: they to becoming an enthralling storyteller, I to becoming their happy coach.