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How To Introduce Yourself In A Way That Lets Others Know You Matter

How To Introduce Yourself In A Way That Lets Others Know You Matter

We’ve all heard the phrase “first impressions are everything.” To an extent, this is absolutely true. The way you present yourself when meeting someone for the first time will be the first time they decide whether or not they want to keep you in their life. Your body language, speech, and awareness of others all combine to create the persona you project to the world. Slouching, mumbling or using slang, and not paying attention to social norms is a surefire way to fall off a potential employer’s radar. If you want to make an interviewer feel like they should keep you around, you should pay attention to the following:

1. Your body language

Without saying a single word, your interviewer can tell a lot about you by your body language. If you strut into the office and slouch down in your seat, you give off the impression that you aren’t taking the interview, or the job, very seriously. Walking in with a smile on your face and an outstretched palm will show that you’re happy to be there, and ready to make a true connection with the person you’re meeting. While that piece of advice probably goes without saying, you also should wait to be asked to sit. It may seem old fashioned, but it shows that you’re keeping others in mind before your own self.

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2. Speak confidently

When you introduce yourself, and throughout the interview, speak with importance in each word. Remember: You’re not meeting your friends out for a drink; you’re trying to impress someone who’ve never met before. Speak slowly and clearly, and use complete sentences. Don’t be afraid to think before you speak. This will not only give your interviewer a chance to finish his thought completely, but it will also allow you to avoid awkward “um” and “uh” moments. Furthermore, when you think before jumping into an answer and speak slowly and rhythmically, your reduce the risk of your interviewer not catching everything you had to say. When you speak with confidence, your interviewer will know you believe in yourself and the abilities you’ll bring to the company.

3. Be socially and culturally aware

When meeting someone for the first time, be aware of the local culture, as well as the culture of the industry. Many times, innocuous comments can often be misconstrued and will cause others to misjudge you. Be careful of using humor upon first meeting an individual; you have no idea where they’ve been in life or what they’ve experienced. A statement that may seem innocent to you may actually be offensive to someone else. It also could reveal biases that you didn’t even realize you held.

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As far as the business industry is concerned, you should always know the demographics of a company before you interview with them. Is it a startup business put together by a few twenty-somethings, or is it a long-running Fortune 500 company? Although in both situation you’ll want to carry yourself professionally, there will be different expectations in both situations. Prepare yourself before the interview, and be flexible no matter what situation you’re placed in.

4. Tell what you’ve done, not what you’ve been

When introducing yourself to a potential employer, don’t waste their time (or yours) discussing what titles you’ve held or degrees you’ve earned. Instead, focus on what you did during those times. If you were a member of a fraternity, talk about the charitable events you were a part of, and what responsibilities you had during those times. Same goes for previous employment positions. Saying you were a store manager really doesn’t make you stick out from a bunch of other potential employees. Instead, discuss how many people worked under you, what your job entailed, and what goals you met throughout your time in the position. You can definitely discuss awards you’ve earned, but put them into the context of what you did to earn them. Talking about awards won will make you seem like a blowhard; discussing the effort put into earning them allows people to see you as the dedicated worker you are.

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5. Be memorable

Like I said, you want to make yourself stick out from the rest of the interviewee pool. Again, don’t waste time talking about your college degrees. Think about it: If degree is a requirement for the position, then having a degree is not a unique qualification. Instead, talk about what you bring to the table: What skills do you have that you believe sets you apart from everyone else? What have you learned throughout your life that will allow you to succeed in this position? Most importantly: What can do you for the company? Why should the company hire you? The first time you meet a potential employer is your first chance to sell yourself. Make sure they know everything they can about you, and that you stick out in their mind at the end of the day (in a good way, of course!).

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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