Introductions are an essential ingredient of what makes Empowering Perspectives gatherings so special. This month, we’re talking about what it means to introduce ourselves, but also how we can introduce our new ideas and dreams to the world.
Consider the last book or movie you read: Do you think you would have continued reading and watching it if the introduction didn’t grab your attention right away?
Meeting people and starting new things work the same way. The writer works and reworks the beginning of their book or script to ensure that you will be hooked. So how do we get people IRL to care about who we are and what we are doing after they hear our introductions?
Craft an honest intro.
Most of us define ourselves by our partners or the last work we did rather than who we are and what we are doing now. I recall the first introductions I made when I arrived in Hanoi. Every time I gave my “I am” speech I founded myself outlining my resume, not who I was in the present moment: a woman striving to embrace her life’s purpose and make deep connections in the world. I’ve bet you’ve done this, too.
But why do go to the past or allow relationships to define us when we have an opportunity to shine?
First and foremost, it comes from a place of fear — fears that you’ll be judged or sized up — but also because as humans we love to put things into categories and boxes, including ourselves. An honest introduction conveys sincerity, something we need a little more of these days.
The same goes for ideas we want to introduce to the world. I remember a meeting with a venture capitalist when I was working on an app, and he asked, “What is your end game after launching this?” I knew that most VC wanted an exit strategy that involved huge payouts, but I was honest.
“I want to build something the will help people and I want to watch it grow.” He booked my partner and me for a second meeting. Had I not genuinely introduced our big idea, I’m not sure he would have met with us a second time.
An intro is a beginning. It sets the tone. And like all beginnings, we start with a blank page. Next time you have a chance to shake someone’s hand or tell them about the incredible new project your launching or career you are embarking on, consider how you will craft a sincere story people will want to hear again and again.