Listen to the audio version of this post here.
Some of us are already back, happily going to business gatherings in person. Others are waiting to see what Omicron brings before they venture out to real-life events. They’re still looking forward to being with people again.
Here’s the question, whichever category you’re in.
How do you make sure those people hear who you are and what you can do for them when you introduce yourself in one of those round-robin say-your-name-and-business-things at a networking event – or at a social gathering for that matter?
Here are a few answers.
Mindset comes first. You know you have something valuable to offer, right? How are they supposed to know you have something valuable to offer if you don’t tell them so?
So, talk to yourself before you start talking to them. Remind yourself that this is no time to play small. Stop hiding your light, let go of modesty and self-consciousness. And set an intention to make a real connection with the people in front of you.
Ground yourself. And by all means stand up, even if others remain seated as they talk. It’s much easier to command attention and project your voice when you’re standing tall with both feet firmly planted on the floor.
It will, of course, help to breathe. I mean breathe fully, deeply, from your belly. That’s where you want the energy to come from, as opposed to pushing your voice out from higher in your body. You need the breath support for a full, rich, attractive voice.
Relax your body, especially your upper body – shoulders, upper back, neck, and jaw. Tension in that part of you will make your voice sound tight and tinny. You want the sound to resonate in all the possible places, so let those muscles be comfortably loose.
Especially notice any tendency to clench your jaw. A lot of people do that unconsciously; if you’re one of them, it’s good to become aware of it so you can intentionally let go.
It will help to look at the person in the room who’s farthest away from you. Our energy follows our line of sight – if you’re looking all the way across the room it’ll be more natural to project your voice than if you’re looking at someone right there close to you. If your eyes are on someone nearby, you’ll automatically be inclined to lower your voice…and that’s the opposite of what we’re looking for.
Some of my clients find a visualization helpful.
Imagine your voice is an arrow. (I like to make it a rubber-tipped arrow—we don’t want anyone to get hurt.) Your belly is the bow. Use that belly-bow to launch your voice up and out and across the room, aiming your “arrow” right at the person farthest away from you.
Or try this one.
Notice the two or three people in the room who desperately need what you have to offer, and I don’t know what that is, but you do. You also know there are people in this group – in any group – who are drowning in difficulty. And their lives or businesses can be changed forever with your help.
They’re out there, frantically waiting to be rescued. And you’re about to throw them an imaginary lifesaver with a quick introduction that lets them know help is on the way.
Wouldn’t it be a shame if the lifesaver didn’t even reach them? If your introduction fell short or fell flat or failed to connect with those people who’ve been eagerly waiting for you?
When you look at it that way, you actually have a responsibility to make your message heard. And now you have some suggestions for doing just that.
If you need a lifesaver of your own, you’ll find it here.