Trainer Introduction: How To Introduce Yourself At A Seminar With Purpose: The Do's By Robert Bacal
We talked about the PURPOSE of the trainer introduction, or what you need to achieve, so here we'll map out what you need to do to achieve those goals.
Keep It Short: When you introduce yourself it's easy to think it should be "about you", but it's not. It's actually about providing enough information and emotional connection FOR THE LEARNERS, or the group members. For that reason, keep your introduction short. It's not a performance, it's not about trying to impress people. It's about creating a situation where people will want to listen, participate, and respect you.
Keep It Focused: Don't ramble. Ahead of time, answer the questions:
- What information would help group members have a sense of connection to me?
- What information about me would establish myself as both knowledgable about the subject AND the learners there?
Then consciously CHOOSE the bits and pieces that will help. PLAN ahead of time.
Include Some Personal Details: While it's important to focus, it's also important to include a few details about your personal life, your interests and so on. You might add a bit about family, or a hobby, or something interesting that participants can relate to. Remember, it's not about you, so much as giving people information they can connect with.
Share A Related Accomplishment: If you have done something special that relates to the topic at hand, mention it. Don't dwell on it, but mention it. For example, if you have published a book or books, bring them, and briefly show them as part of your introduction. Do so in a humble manner. Always be humble, and grateful for your accomplishment.
Most Important? HOW You Say Things: Your introduction should be presented off the cuff -- not memorized, since that will sound mechanical. You must be very careful to use language that is familiar to those in the group, and you need to talk as people really talk.
There's a tendency for experts to start talking in there "professional voice and vocabulary", and that comes across as snobby, snooty, arrogant. This is particularly problematic for inexperienced trainers in professional fields: medicine, engineering, psychology, professors, and so on.
You need to introduce yourself the way regular people do, because the paradox is that the more you sound like you are trying to impress, or establish your credentials, the less people will accept you.
Also, attend to your body language, voice, etc. At the start of sessions, trainers can be a bit anxious and tense, and as a result, talk too quickly, or lose track of what the introduction is to accomplish. Be relaxed as you can. Make eye contact with attendees individually as you introduce yourself.
Conclusion: Simple, Right?
It's probably simple, now that you've read the points above, but the truth is most trainers, and even many speakers lose track of how to introduce themselves with purpose.
Next we'll look at the Don'ts -- What you should NOT do during your introductions.