How to command attention when introducing yourself.

I was reminded tonight at an event of a simple yet often overlooked way to command attention when introducing yourself…

…Don’t hand someone your card until after you have introduced yourself, shared what you do and hopefully developed some rapport.

If you do, you run the risk of them losing their focus on you, looking at the card and trying to read it while you are starting to speak.

It’s instinctive to want to hand someone our card or brochure when introducing yourself as it reinforces your name and maybe depicts an image of what we do. It’s especially tempting when other people around you are doing that and you are simply going with the trend.

Next time you are introducing yourself to someone, take note :

At what point are you handing out your business card?

Is it at the beginning of the interaction or the end of the interaction?

Are you taking notes on the back of your card? You can provide this to them as a helpful reference about your conversation and make the card exchange more meaningful.

What things have you found worked (or didn’t work) when introducing yourself to keep the other person engaged and actually hear (and understand as well as retain) what you are saying?

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7 responses to “How to command attention when introducing yourself.

  1. Great tip, Taryn. I see this all the time, and I sometimes think (never actually say aloud), “Okay, what if I don’t want your card or need your service?” I’ll keep this in mind at my next networking event, to make sure I’m not an offender!

  2. Taryn,

    Great point about not handing your card to someone before you have built rapport. I have also found that people who hand you a card first are more likely to disappear quickly and not engage in a meaningful conversation.

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  4. I think people do it out of nervousness as well. They feel like the card validates them and makes them worthy of your attention. Yes, I probably do it too. Good reason to have your introduction down cold so you are really comfortable giving it.

  5. Good advice. I have a very unique business card, one that people always comment on. But if I hand that card to people before I tell them my story, they are too busy looking at my card, and NOT listening to me.

  6. Handing business card over without proper introduction and some kind of rapport is a bit like spamming. How much more rewarding and satisfying to actually earn the right for the person you hand the card over to actually notice and make note of it properly.

  7. I agree with Todd as well… if you hand out the card or brochure, people get fixated on it (especially those that are the most visual people). You lose your audience. It is critical to make a good first impression and then build from there; the business card comes in handy once you depart!

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