The way you introduce yourself in a professional environment sets the tone for how others view you. A well thought-out intro can establish you as a credible and knowledgeable business person, while a lackluster introduction can raise doubts about your professionalism. All forms of introduction should include your name, company and a brief description of yourself.
Introducing Yourself In Person
Know in advance what the person needs to know about you based on the context of the situation. For example, you'd use different intros when hosting an event, saying hello to a conference speaker or meeting a well-known person in your industry for the first time. In any case, however, it's important to make eye contact, smile at the person and extend your hand. If you know the other party's name, use it. For example, “Hi Stan, I’m Abigail Williams with ABC Company. We handle all of the advertising for this event.”
Introducing Yourself Over the Phone
When you introduce yourself by phone, be succinct and get to the point right away. For best results, place yourself so the person on the other end of the line knows what the call is in reference to. For example, “Hi Jim, this is Jane Smith with XYZ Company. I heard you speak at a chamber of commerce function last week and I’m calling to get some more information about your services. Is this a good time to talk?”
Making the Introduction In Writing
Introducing yourself in a letter or email gives you greater opportunity to describe yourself and even include links or attach reference materials. Make sure everything is well-written and contains no grammatical errors. If you were referred by someone else or have a colleague in common, mention them as well. For example, “I serve on a committee with John Brown and he gave me your contact information. I manufacture a wide range of promotional items for businesses and John thought you might be interested in my services.”
When Speaking to a Group
If you’re asked to introduce yourself at a business meeting or event, plan something known as an “elevator pitch.” This is a prepared overview of who you are, what you do and why you do it, and should be tweaked to fit the audience you’re addressing. It's called an elevator pitch because it should give the recipient the essential information about you in the time it might take to share an elevator – around 20 to 30 seconds. For example, “My name is Melissa Stevens and I’m the vice president of marketing for ABC Company. We provide a wide range of printing supplies for businesses and we pride ourselves on matching or beating any local competitor’s prices. This is my first time attending this Rotary club luncheon and I look forward to speaking with each of you after the presentation.”
When Others Introduce You
When colleagues and business associates introduce you to someone else, offer your hand for a handshake and repeat the person’s name with a greeting. For example, “Hi Sarah, it’s nice to meet you.” Ask a brief professional question, such as the person’s occupation, or make a comment about the event you’re attending or the situation you’re in. For example, “So how long have you been in finance?" or, “This is the first time I’ve been to this conference. What do you think about it so far?”
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.