If you attend a lot of networking events, this will most definitely open your eyes. It makes so much sense! The next time you’re at one of those events where people are given 30 or 60 seconds to stand and introduce themselves to the room, you’re going to be thinking “What are they doing?”

Here’s our professional advice: skip the setup. Everybody uses the set-up—be different. Know this: the most common way people introduce themselves is the worst way to do it.

Here’s what most people say: ‘Hi, my name is John Smith. I’m an accountant. My company’s name is Smith & Smith Incorporated. We’re located on Main Street. We’ve been there for over 17 years.’ You’ve just taken up 12 seconds. And, who cares? I don’t care what your name is (I won’t remember it anyway after I’ve heard 20 more people introduce themselves). I don’t care what your company name is (ditto). I don’t care how long you have been in business.

What you have effectively done is you’ve given me an opportunity, in fact, five opportunities, to tune out, nod politely, let my mind wander and wait for the next person. Why? Because you’ve given me nothing but “features” and not a single “benefit” for me.

Is that the way you start your introduction to a group? Hey, don’t feel bad. 99.9% of the people I observe at networking events use that ‘set-up’. Don’t do that, please.

What follows is a real introduction I heard just two days before writing this article. I’ve changed the names to protect the misinformed.

“Hi, My name is Saul Bergen. My wife Laura and I have been with Great Investors Amalgamated Financial Services for over 10 years. We work with business leaders like entrepreneurs and professionals who want a comprehensive, managed approach to their financial planning.”

Now, here’s a $64,000 question: What are THE most important words in his introduction that might get Saul’s listeners to collect and save the information he wants to share with them?

Here’s the answer: it’s the part that starts with “We work with business leaders who want a…” That’s what I’ve termed a “WHY-Proclamation™“. That term is explained in detail in another article, but in a nutshell, a WHY-Proclamation™ is a short sentence that ‘proclaims’ clearly to the listeners what you can do for them—what benefits you provide. And that’s the absolute KEY to getting their attention.

So why is Saul distracting them at the onset with the other stuff?

Remember that until Saul has given them a reason—a WHY—for them to pay attention, his name, the name of his wife, and who they’ve been working for for however long mean absolutely nothing, nada, zero. Saul just gave his listeners three opportunities to tune out.

On the other hand, there will be some people who do want to remember his name, out of habit, and they’ll be doing memory exercises in their head to try and engrave his name in their brain while Saul is sharing his core message—the important stuff—with them. There will also be those who are asking themselves, “Did he say Saul or Paul?” Or, “Was that Bergen or Berger?” Or, “Did he say Laura, Laurel, Laurie or Lauren?” And while they’re doing all these mental exercises, they’re not paying attention to the “main attraction”—his WHY-Proclamation™.

As for the name of his company, well…please, nobody can remember such a cumbersome name, and, as I asked earlier, who cares?

What if it’s your own company? Same thing as for your name. It does NOT matter until it does matter. It’s another cause of distraction. “Hi, my name is Paul Berger, I run a company called Flours Unlimited (that’s a pastry shop and catering service in my neighborhood). I work with businesspeople who…” And while Paul is talking about catering, cakes and fresh ingredients, people are thinking that’s kind of odd for a flower shop…

That’s an extreme example, but you can confuse or distract people even if the name of your company is like one of those real names: Sellutions (“Solutions for what?”), Creatext (“Is it ‘text’ as in a text you read, or short for textile?”) or Mindscape (“What did he say? My Escape? Mine Scape? Mind’s Cape?”). And don’t even think of mentioning the name of your company before your WHY-Proclamation™ if you run a company called Affleck, Dimacopoulos, Lebensold, Englemann, Silverstein and Sohn!

That concept of skipping the set-up applies even for something simple and easy to understand like Gift Baskets of Ottawa. All kinds of thoughts could go through the listener’s mind when you mention it: “I wonder if they’re the ones who were featured in the newspaper last weekend?” “I’ve heard that name before…but where?” “’Gift basket’… ‘gift’…Oh my gosh, Bob’s birthday is this weekend… I’ve gotta go shopping for his favourite chocolates soon…”

Bottom line is this: Don’t give people ANY reason to tune out or be distracted while you’re delivering your all-important WHY-Proclamation™.

I wish you ALL the business success you desire and deserve. Remember that the success you desire is function of your ambition, but the success you deserve is function of your ACTION!

Daniel G. St-Jean
BizzBooster, and The Sparkplug of Personal Development
Author of 7 Simple Keys To Spark Change In Your Life Now!
Co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life – volume 2

Author's Bio: 

Daniel G. St-Jean is half of The BizzBoosters Inc. He and his partner Laurel Simmons have produced a powerful new Special Report entitled Discover How You Can Easily Avoid the Biggest Marketing Mistake Made by 97% of Businesspeople—Even Gurus—That’s Costing Them Thousands of Customers and Millions in Sales! Go get your complimentary copy NOW at http://www.thebizzboosters.com/bigmistake-report.