How to introduce yourself in a presentation

People either underplay or overblow their introductions, when presenting.

‘I’m ‘just’ this or ‘only’ that…’ aside, there are some subtle ways that people sort of verbally crawl into stating who they are.  Then they try to slither out of it as soon as possible.

Obviously, there are those with an incredible sense of self-belief, some of it related to neither experience nor competence.

However, that’s not my focus in this guide.

Here, you’ll see how people – maybe you – undersell themselves.

These all manifested during a public speaking training session when a young team of Customer Support specialists in a SaaS company were focusing on Openings of a presentation.  This is the ‘Credibility’ section, which introduces the speaker in a couple of sentences.

Credibility actually manifests through factors such as fluency, articulacy, knowledge and examples along with non-verbals.

Those couple of sentences near the beginning answering one client question:

“What use are you to me?”

That’s it.

Sounds harsh and utilitarian but believe me, they’ll appreciate you later.

Let’s march on with some real life examples.  (I’ve changed all the names of both the individuals and their company.)

 

Example One:

“I’m Sofia and I work as an Account Manager at Biotest.io, helping to onboard new customers like you and working with our existing customer base. I have been at the organisation for coming up to 8 years now, so if I can’t answer all the questions I’m sure you have today, I’ll be able to certainly find you someone (99.9% of the time this is Zack) who can.

What to keep:

It’s short and positive.

What to change:

“8 years”: she doesn’t need to say how long she’s been at the organisation and in fact, it would be best not to.  Sofia may well be dealing with someone who’s been in the industry twice as long.

“…I can’t answer all the questions”: she’s built in the possibility of being unable to answer their queries right at the beginning.

Here’s where to mention questions and what to say.

“working with our existing customer database”: why mention existing customers?  Clients are only concerned about how she’ll help them.  (Note to reader: Sofia explained to me that she’d wanted to manage the client’s expectations so they’d know she wasn’t going to be so available). Newsflash: the client doesn’t care about the other clients.

Better to say: “I’ll not only be onboarding you but will support you as you use the software, from set up onwards.”

 

Example Two:

“I’m Marcus Tovey, a Technical Consultant at Biotest.io.  My main focus is on building your integrations and helping out with any technical questions you might have along the way.”

What to keep:

Yay! Marcus didn’t say how long he’d been working there.

In addition, not only did he say WHO he is – a Technical Consultant – but he added WHAT he does for this particular client.

(Note to reader: for other clients, Marcus would stress a different part of his role but this one was concerned about integrations specifically).

What to change:

Nothing.  As with all the others though, he may later give the client ideas and possibilities by bringing in examples of work he’s done with other clients.

 

Example Three:

“Hi I’m Jules and I have been working here at Biotest.io for over two years as a Planning Co-ordinator.  I’ve worked with all our customers making their lives easier. Today I will make your life easier too.”

What to keep:

Jules mentions her role and is upbeat.

What to change:

her presentation is aimed at efficiency so it certainly will make her customers’ lives easier. However, she doesn’t say what she actually does as a Planning Co-ordinator. The client needs to know the nature of their contact with Jules.

Better to say something like:

“I’m Jules. As your Planning Coordinator, I’ll be through all the different stages of the integration of the software so today we’ll be looking at your requirements and the journey.”

 

Your Action:

1. Cut out the years that you’ve been doing something.  Even if it’s 20 years, there may be someone who’ll either think you’re out of date or they’ve done more.   Don’t leave yourself open to presumption and comparison.

2. It’s fine to state your role as long as you add what you do but pick out only the one or two key parts that matter to your audience.

3. State how your role fits in with their required actions e.g. ‘integration of software’ or ‘ensuring that the export of their data is smooth’.

 

Need any help with how you introduce yourself? Get a 1:1 session booked in right here with me.  Yep… I’ll help you frame your credibility, personally.

 

Photo courtesy of Gratisography

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