When I arrived at a professional development conference I few weeks ago to present a session, I learned that the association would no longer be assigning a moderator to introduce me and to help with the session logistics. Since it is generally known that an individual cannot “sell from the stage” in these kinds of sessions, the only real selling of a speaker’s services or products can be done by a moderator who can mention these things in the introduction. As a consultant, this time on stage at the conference and a good introduction are extremely important for me in growing my business. Without having someone to toot my horn for me, how was I supposed to let the audience know what I had to offer without being “sales-y”?
I did some googling for suggestions, like a do with almost anything I need to figure out, and found an article on magneticspeaking.com titled “3 Steps to Introducing Yourself: (Without Sounding Like a Jerk)” written by Peter Khoury. Peter describes three basic steps in pulling off the self introduction: 1) State your name and current job function, 2) Recall a memory from your past that will answer the following question: Why do you care” and 3) Tie back to current position (with some brag if you want).
I used his guidelines and came up with the following:
Good afternoon. My name is Linda Tapp and I’m President of SafetyFUNdamentals, a safety training resource company based in Madison, NJ. (Number 1 accomplished)
A few years ago I had a project that involved providing supervisor safety leadership training, over 3 days, to supervisors at 6 different locations across the country for a large chemical company. The thought – even to me – of having to sit still for 3 days – or worse yet, having to listen to me talk for 3 days, was something I did not want to do nor make the poor supervisors so is I decided to try out the accelerated learning principles I had read about and set out to find ways to apply them to this training class. We will be talking about what accelerated learning principles are but basically, they involve adding a lot of interaction to a training class. The 3 day safety supervisor class I was prepared to present now included over 30 different class activities. When I started the class in the first location, I could see the discomfort in the faces of the attendees when I stated that this would be an interactive class and we were going to be working through a lot of activities. I was afraid that this whole thing would fail, especially because these were some tough guys who were not about to do something they didn’t want to do but miraculously, they all actively participated and at the end of the 3 days, several of them told me how much they appreciated not having to sit there and listen to a lecture or watch videos for 3 days. (Number 2 accomplished)
After this project, I realized these techniques and activities could help other safety trainers make their training much more effective so I created my first book, “SafetyFUNdamentals: 77 Games and Activities to Make Training Great!” and then several others containing various types of activities. I talk about safety training activities a lot and I often have people tell me after I talk about how they use these activities in their OSHA Outreach classes so that is how this session was born, so let’s get started. (Number 3 accomplished)
Although I felt a little awkward talking about the books I had written (I am not good at bragging about myself), I was very comfortable talking about how I had made this class a success and how I helped others so in the end, I think my self-introduction was effective and well received. My presentation that followed went really well and I got some of the best feedback and evaluations back from it that I have ever gotten from a presentation so I think I’ll be doing a lot more self introductions.