How many new people do you meet in a week? 1, 2, 3, 5+ ..? Depending on how social you are and your line of work, that number could vary and be quite large. But, how many of those people would you say are memorable? Meaning, you remembered there was “something about them” or something they said that left you with a feeling of wanting to know more about them days or weeks later?
Most of the time we have a difficult time remembering someone’s name and what was discussed seconds after we first meet them, let alone days or weeks later. Especially when meeting multiple people at once, that task becomes much more challenging.
So, what distinguishes someone from being memorable vs. not memorable? And, how can you ensure that someone remembers you for that next interesting project, career opportunity, or perhaps dinner date?
As Maya Angelou so beautifully stated, “At the end of the day, people will not remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
What’s the most effective way to evoke a sense of emotion in someone that makes you memorable?
People remember stories. And, a good place to start is your introduction.
Like it or not, typically the way we get to know one another and meet someone (especially here in the US) is by asking and being asked who we are and what we do.
For Eugene, a documentary filmmaker, his intro probably goes something like this:
“Hi, I’m Eugene. I’m a documentary filmmaker.”
What if Eugene told more of a story about himself and his work:
“Hi, I’m Eugene, Eugene [Last Name]. I’m a documentary filmmaker committed to storytelling and challenging traditional debates on race and religion.”
Doesn’t this make you want to ask questions and learn more about his work?
Or, Karen, the Investment Banker:
“Hi, I’m Karen, I work for XYZ Company in Investment Banking.”
The “Memorable” Karen intro becomes:
“Hi, I’m Karen, Karen [Last Name]. I’m the ‘Financial Freud’ — I’m a master at understanding my clients’ wants and needs. Based on that understanding, I’m able to find and structure their most lucrative business deals.”
Try using this structure to make your own “Memorable Intro”:
· Name – Repeat it twice, so it is more likely the person will remember.
· The contribution you provide to your organization, others, the world.
· What makes you and your contribution unique – what you do/what you do differently. Tell a story, paint a picture.
· Always have a “fun fact” at the ready. What is something that would absolutely surprise people upon meeting you? Are you a big fan of hip hop? (I am.) Did you just spend the last week in complete silence at an Ashram retreat?
I recently met a gorgeous Dutch model (yes, they actually do exist and are running wild here in NY) who told me she owns a large piece of land in Costa Rica and is a farmer. What?! Beyond her beauty, warmth, and smarts, that little tidbit definitely had me interested, made her memorable, and made me want to learn more about her.
Those types of fun facts make for interesting conversations and networking because they make you memorable. Remember, what you tell people they will not only remember (hopefully), but they will repeat to others.
What do you want your 30 second repeatable “commercial” to be?
Here is my “Traditional” intro:
“Hi, I’m Whitney Siavelis. I’m a Leadership Coach and Consultant.”
And, here is my “Memorable Intro”:
“Hi, I’m Whitney, Whitney Siavelis. I’m a Leadership Coach and Consultant, and I’m an expert at helping people connect with their greatness from a place of authenticity.”
“Fun fact: I’m a big fan of hip hop and I’ve been known to bust out an old school lyric or two at unexpected moments.”
Or, another example:
“Hi, I’m Whitney, Whitney Siavelis. I’m a Leadership Coach and Consultant and I’m an expert at helping people maximize their success by being exactly who they are.”
Whenever I introduce myself this way, it always leads to further discussion. The person I’m speaking with becomes more curious and asks questions, which provides me with the opportunity to go into more of my work, my process, and client success stories.
Have fun, experiment, and play around with this when meeting new people. Does your revamped “Memorable Intro” elicit more of a response than before? Do your words evoke an emotion and cause people to ask more questions? Has it led to further discussions and opportunities?
Would love to hear your experience and your ‘before’ and ‘after’ introductions in the comments section below.
*image courtesy of Eva