Thursday, June 20, 2013

Speaking Skills: How to Introduce Yourself at a Persuasive Seminar

This article is a continuation of my "Speaking Skills: How to Introduce Yourself at a Seminar" entry. This article focuses tips for a great Persuasive Seminar self introduction. For more tips on how to do a self introduction in a seminar, visit my original article.
self introduction
The goal of a persuasive talk is to "persuade" or "sell". However, unlike in the Interview Seminar, you are not selling yourself (unless you are a politician) but rather a product or service. So do not spend a lot of time on your pedigree or credentials. Instead spend your time engaging your audience and telling them '''what problem you can solve''' for them with your product/service.


Example:

"Hi, my name is  Peter Gibbons, I work at Initech as a manager in the IT department. I am very excited to be here today to talk to you about our new cover sheet system. I have discovered during my years as manager that I am always trying to balance productivity with employee morale. A struggle I am sure you are all familiar with. Today I am going to share with you a new cover sheet system that can improve both productivity and morale in your company."

Jen in Office Space - jennifer-aniston Photo

In the above example the speaker did the following things right:  

  • The speaker spent relatively little time on credentials or bragging. The speaker just said who he is and where he is from. "My name is  Peter Gibbons, I work at Initech as a manager in the IT department." Then quickly moved to into telling the audience why they are there. This is similar to the style found in the Teaching Seminar section.
  • The speaker made an effort to engage the audience, "I am sure you are all familiar with." This is also similar to the style found in the Teaching Seminar section.
  • The speaker told the audience quickly why the seminar is worth listening to. This was done by presenting a shared problem to be solved, "trying to balance productivity with employee morale" and promising a solution with his product, "Today I am going to share with you a new coversheet system that can improve both productivity and morale." Setting up a problem you promise to solve is a method unique to the Persuasive Seminar style.

Write it up 

Now that you have decided  you are giving a Persuasive Seminar and identified your goals, it is time to craft your own introduction. You can use the above example as an outline when writing your own. Of course you will have to customize it for your own unique background, qualifications and goals. Remember in your Persuasive Seminar self-introduction to emphasize your shared experiences and be sure to tell them early what problems you can solve for them.




Practice

Once written, rehearse your introduction for friends or colleagues. Enlist their honest feedback before the big day. Rewrite and re-rehearse your introduction as needed based on feedback.

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