Oh, how I dislike the personal introductions at the business lunch or dinner meeting. What we tend to hear, one after the other, is a name, a profession, and a place of business which becomes sing-song after the 1st intro. Not only is it spoken in a lilt, but everyone takes their voice up at the end of each statement so that it sounds like they are asking a question. This is known as uptalk and is reminiscent of the Valley Girl Sound.
- If you know who you are, why not say your name as a statement and not a question? If you know your profession, state it, don’t question it.
The best way to know if you speak in sing-song and/or uptalk is to record yourself, play it back and study it. Listen hard and see if your voice rises at the end of your name or the end of your company name. You may have difficulty hearing this type of inflection at first. Only after a successive number of playbacks might you begin to recognize what you are doing wrong.
Your next step is to practice taking your voice down at the end of each statement. Again, it takes work but it is worth the effort.
If you sound like everyone else in the room, you will definitely be just one of the pack. However, if you would really like to make a statement, why not begin a bit differently? Start by asking a question of your audience which is relevant to your business. That will awaken the group as well as make you stand out from the crowd.
Occasionally, my opening goes something like this: “Hello, I am The Voice Lady and my business is your voice.” When others hear those words and the slight emphasis on the word your, they remember me because it is different. Perhaps in opening your introduction, you could begin by telling the group what you do and then give them your name. Or, you could begin with a brief joke, again pertinent to you or your job. Startling your audience is one of the best ways to get to them to remember you. And that is the entire reason for the personal introduction.