“Well, that was awkward.”
“I can’t believe I said that.”
“I wish I knew what to say!”
These are just some of the thoughts that might come up while making a professional introduction at your new job or networking event.
First thing first: it’s okay. The conversation was probably a lot less uncomfortable and inelegant than you think. As the saying goes, we’re our own worst critics. Our brains tell us a lot of unhelpful stories.
The perfect professional introduction doesn’t exist. We’re all just doing our best.
But there are ways to turn a good first impression into a GREAT first impression. To truly impress and create a lasting first impression, remember the two Ps: prepare and practice. Prepare what you’re going to say and practice delivering your message.
Practice using the four scripts below to introduce yourself professionally and confidently.
1- Networking Event
Face-to-face professional introductions require some extra finesse. When you introduce yourself in person, your nonverbal communication helps shape your peers’ opinions.
Before introducing yourself at a networking event, consider your appearance and body language carefully.
For starters, know you’re communicating without ever saying a word. To make an excellent first impression, be mindful of your appearance. Look up the dress code for the event and dress appropriately. Iron your clothes, pop a breath mint, and wear something that makes you feel confident. We all have an outfit that fits well and makes us feel more self-assured when we put it on. Put it in the laundry well before your next event.
Second, think about your nonverbal communication. When you make a professional introduction, the goal is to appear polished, pleasant, and approachable. You want your body language to clarify your interest and engagement in the conversation.
To send the right messages when you introduce yourself professionally, smile and make good eye contact. Try to avoid crossing your arms, looking at the floor, and readjusting your watch or jewelry. Nail the introduction with a firm handshake.
Third, be authentic. Most people can see right through it when you try to put on an act. Stop trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. If you’re an introvert, focus on your strengths. Do you listen well? Make good eye contact. Start there.
Now that you know how to present yourself and deliver the right message, use these scripts for inspiration at your next networking event:
“Hi! We haven’t met; I’m [NAME]! I’m the [ROLE] at [COMPANY]. Nice to meet you!”
“Hi, I’m [NAME]! What did you think about [NAME] ‘s presentation?”
[If their badge shows their employer] “Hi, I’m [NAME]! Are you with [COMPANY]? Do you know [NAME] in the sales department? We went to college together!” Ensure that your tone of voice compliments your professional introduction. Aim for a tone that exudes confidence, interest, and enthusiasm. To combat discomfort and anxiety before making introductions, take a few deep breaths, stand taller, and consider why you’re grateful for the experience.
When I was in the corporate world, I worried my introductions sounded stilted and unnatural—until I started powering my professional introductions with gratitude. I was grateful to build my network and form genuine business relationships. Reflecting on gratitude before going in made my introductions feel more relaxed and authentic.
2- Introducing Yourself in Person at a New Job
Congratulations on your new role! Now’s your chance to stand before many and tell them a little about yourself and what you do.
As with networking events, pay attention to your appearance, nonverbal communication, and tone of voice.
You’ll also want to think about speaking slowly and clearly, keeping it brief, and encouraging colleagues to reach out and build a deeper relationship with you.
To introduce yourself professionally in front of a room and make a great first impression, try saying:
Good Morning! I’m [NAME]. I’ll be joining the team as the [ROLE] of [COMPANY].
I look forward to meeting everyone and getting to know you over the next few weeks!
We can all benefit from my background in [INDUSTRY]. I’m excited to start and do what I can to make your lives easier!
Stop by my desk any time to introduce yourself or chat. I’m always happy to talk about [RELEVANT PROFESSIONAL INTEREST].
3- Making a Professional Introduction Over Email
We’ve all experienced the meeting that should have been an email. But what happens when your opportunity to introduce yourself professionally gets moved to email or a group chat? Thanks to packed schedules or fully remote work, you may end up sending an introduction email.
No worries! You can still make an excellent first impression with a powerful introduction email.
Include three critical parts: a hook, your background, and a call-to-action (CTA).
Here’s an example:
Subject Line: Hi, I’m new here!
I’m new. Let me introduce myself. I’m [NAME], and I’ll be stepping into the role of [JOB TITLE] at [COMPANY].
[COMPANY] has been on my radar for some time now, and I’m excited to be part of the team officially!
Before accepting the [JOB TITLE] role here at [COMPANY], I worked for [FORMER COMPANY] [ACHIEVEMENT OR JOB DESCRIPTION, E.G., DEVELOPING TEAMS TO EXCEED PERFORMANCE GOALS].
It’s a gift to bring my expertise to the team, and I’m looking forward to learning together.
Email me or stop by my desk anytime.
4- LinkedIn Introductions
The final way to introduce yourself professionally might feel the most unnatural. Introducing ourselves to people we don’t know online is uncharted territory for many of us.
Enter LinkedIn. Thanks to LinkedIn, virtual introductions are now an all but necessary skill.
When your finger hovers over the “message” button on LinkedIn, suddenly, introduction emails feel like a breeze.
Relax! Introducing yourself on LinkedIn can be painless. Making a good first impression is the same whether introducing yourself in person, writing an introduction email, or sending direct messages on LinkedIn: prepare and practice. That’s all there is to it.
Write a script and practice sending it out and making new connections. Write separate scripts for connecting with fellow college alumni, people with mutual connections, and people who don’t have any shared connections.
HI [THEIR NAME],
I see we share a passion for [INDUSTRY, HOBBY, EXPERTISE].
It’d be a pleasure to connect!
Two or More Connections
HI [THEIR NAME],
I see we have several connections in common! I’m always happy to build my network and learn from each other.
It’d be a pleasure to connect,
Fellow College Alumni
HI [THEIR NAME],
I graduated from [UNIVERSITY OR INSTITUTION] as well! It’s always great to catch up with [UNVERSITY] alums.
It’d be a pleasure to connect,
The key is to treat LinkedIn introductions like honest, authentic conversations. If you get a response (and sometimes you won’t – don’t take it personally!), think about natural ways to keep the conversation going. For example, if you get a response from a college alumnus, consider how you might continue the conversation in person. Ask if they attended the most recent reunion or if they ever got a chance to visit your old campus. Talk about a professor you may have had in common.
After developing some initial rapport, asking questions about an available role where they work is okay. Again, keep it casual. Ask what it’s like working there or for insights into their company’s workplace culture. When you know how to introduce yourself professionally—whether in person or through an introduction email—you’re on your way to building key relationships. Strong relationships are essential for productive conversations at work, making changes to your current role, or shifting careers.
So the networking event ended. The introductions are over. You’re doing better and feeling pretty good about your business relationships. Now what?
Let’s hop on a call if you need more clarity about your next steps. I’d love to learn more about you and determine if my coaching is a good fit to help guide you to a higher level.